Author Archives: otownley

Descent Of Darwin

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Darwin

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Blavatsky

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth on February 12,1809. His seminal work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, was published in 1859.

Sixteen years later with Isis Unveiled (1875), and twenty-nine years later with The Secret Doctrine (1888), the World Mother of Theosophy H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), in her widely publicized works, frequently disputed Darwin’s premises.

In The Secret Doctrine 2:662-5, she writes:-

“The fact is, that only the partial truth of many of the secondary ‘laws’ of Darwinism is beyond question.”

Blavatsky is adamant:- “…the esoteric teaching is absolutely opposed to the Darwinian evolution, as applied to man, and partially so with regard to other species. It would be interesting to obtain a glimpse of the mental representation of Evolution in the Scientific brain of a materialist.”

Challenging Selection

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“As to Natural Selection itself, the utmost misconception prevails among many present-day thinkers who tacitly accept the conclusions of Darwinism. It is, for instance, a mere device of rhetoric to credit ‘Natural Selection’ with the power of originating species.

“‘Natural Selection’ is no Entity,” HPB writes,  “but a convenient phrase for describing the mode in which the survival of the fit and the elimination of the unfit among organisms is brought about in the struggle for existence.”

Pure Myth

“‘Selection, as a Power,’ is in reality a pure myth,” she insists, “—especially when resorted to as an explanation of the origin of species. It is merely a representative term expressive of the manner in which ‘useful variations’ are stereotyped when produced. Of itself, ‘it’ can produce nothing, and only operates on the rough material presented to ‘it.'”

“The real question at issue is: what Cause
– combined with other secondary causes –
produces the ‘variations’ in the organisms themselves?”

darwin4A Theory Is Not Law

“A ‘theory’ is simply a hypothesis, a speculation, and no law. To say otherwise is only one of the many liberties taken now-a-days by scientists. They enunciate an absurdity, and then hide it behind the shield of Science. Any deduction from theoretical speculation is no better than a speculation on a speculation.

“But, fortunately, the greatest, the most eminent thinkers and Scientists of the day are now beginning to rise against this “Pedigree,” and even Darwin’s natural selection theory, though its author had never, probably, contemplated such widely stretched conclusions.”

Darwin’s Grand Voyage

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Blavatsky was the first to use the phrase “intelligent design,” while she acknowledged the “minor law” of adaptation to the environment meticulously detailed by Darwin: “The origin of the variety of organic forms, [are] made to fit their environments, with such evident intelligent design.”

“…by the existence and the mutual help and interaction of two principles in (manifest) nature, the inner Conscious Principle adapting itself to physical nature and the innate potentialities.”

“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 forces manipulated by … the mind of the Universe and its immutable law.

As Above So Within

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What Is Evolution?

HPB answers:- “If asked to define the full and complete meaning of the term … Webster does: ‘the act of unfolding; the process of growth, development; as the evolution of a flower from a bud, or an animal from the egg.’ Yet the bud must be traced through its parent-plant to the seed, and the egg to the animal or bird that laid it; or at any rate to the speck of protoplasm from which it expanded and grew.”

“And both the seed and the speck must have the latent potentialities in them for the reproduction and gradual development, the unfolding of the thousand and one forms or phases of evolution, through which they must pass before the flower or the animal are fully developed. Hence, the future plan, if not a design, must be there. Moreover, that seed has to be traced, and its nature ascertained.

“Have the Darwinists been successful in this?”

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Irreducible complexity’s main proponent is Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Among the systems that Behe claims are irreducibly complex are the bacterial flagellum, a microscopic whip-like structure that some bacteria use to swim:

The Bacterial Flagellum

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The Bacterial Flagellum-2

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“Nothing Dead In Nature”

Scientists think bacteria have lived on the Earth for 2 billion years!

bacteria1“Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. . . . There is nothing dead, in Nature. Everything is organic and living, and therefore the whole world appears to be a living organism.” (Paracelsus, “Philosophia ad Athenienes,” F. Hartmann’s translations, p. 44.)

“The Universe was evolved out of its ideal plan, Blavatsky propounded, “upheld through Eternity in the unconsciousness of that which the Vedantins call Parabrahm. This is practically identical with the conclusions of the highest Western Philosophy — ‘the innate, eternal, and self-existing Ideas’ of Plato…”

There is no single “creator” per se, she says, rather a hierarchy of intelligent guides. The Process consists of: “(a) the irrational brute energy, inherent in matter, and (b) the intelligent soul or cosmic consciousness which directs and guides that energy …reflecting the Ideation of the Universal mind.”

The Origin Of Life?

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This activity of cosmic consciousness results, she continues, “in a perpetual series of physical manifestations … the whole being subservient to Karma. As that process is not always perfect—and since, however many proofs it may exhibit of a guiding intelligence behind the veil, it still shows gaps and flaws, and even results very often in evident failures —

“Therefore, neither the collective Host (Demiurgos), nor any of the working powers individually,” Blavatsky says, “are proper subjects for divine honours or worship. All are entitled to the grateful reverence of Humanity, however, and man ought to be ever striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task.”

A Maze Of Complexity

dna1Without anyone realizing the implications, the discovery of the double helix (DNA) by Watson and Crick in 1953, opened the door to the eventual demise of unguided evolution.

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The Eternity Of The Universe

Everything that is, was, and will be, eternally IS, even the countless forms, which are finite and perishable only in their objective, not in their ideal Form. They existed as Ideas, in the Eternity, and, when they pass away, will exist as reflections. Neither the form of man, nor that of any animal, plant or stone has ever been created, and it is only on this plane of ours that it commenced “becoming,”i.e., objectivising into its present materiality, or expanding from within outwards, from the most sublimated and supersensuous essence into its grossest appearance.

“The Language Of Life”

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“Therefore our human forms have existed in the Eternity as astral or ethereal prototypes—according to which models, the Spiritual Beings (or Gods) whose duty it was to bring them into objective being and terrestrial Life, evolved the protoplasmic forms of the future Egos from their own essence.”

“After which, when this human … basic mould was ready, the natural terrestrial Forces began to work on those supersensuous moulds which contained, besides their own, the elements of all the past vegetable and future animal forms of this globe in them. Therefore, man’s outward shell passed through every vegetable and animal body before it assumed the human shape.”

Not By Chance Alone

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After the human genome project was sequenced (2003), there was uncovered massive amounts of what science quickly labeled “junk DNA”— i.e. coding with no understood purpose. Many students of Blavatsky have intuited this discovery as revealing advanced coding for future human evolution, as outlined in The Secret Doctrine. And H. P. Blavatsky explains that earth, and its inhabitants, have only reached the halfway point in their evolution. We are a long way from fulfilling our destiny, and responsibilities to Mother Earth. In many ways we are very similar to complex, intelligent cells in the body of Gaia.

Entering The Heart Of The Cell

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Darwin’s theory is still being debated 150 years later. While a majority of scientists still advocate random mutation and natural selection as their gold-standard, many respected scientists are sharply divided over the issue of an unguided evolution.

Unfinished Animal

“It is seldom remembered,” writes Theodore Roszak in Unfinished Animal (1975), “that, in the years following publication of ‘The Origin of Species,’ HPB [Helena Petrovna Blavatsky] was the first person to aggressively argue the case for a transphysical element in evolution against the rising Darwinian consensus.”

Where The Evidence Leads

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Professor Roszak continues:

Yet, buried in the sprawling bulk of her two major works…there lies, in rudimentary form, the first philosophy of psychic and spiritual evolution to appear in the modern West.

Her effort, unlike that of the Christian fundamentalists, was not to reject Darwin’s work, but to insist that it had, by its focus on the purely physical, wholly omitted the mental, creative, and visionary life of the human race, in short, it omitted consciousness, whose development followed a very different evolutionary path.

Darwin simply did not go far enough; his was not a big enough theory to contain human nature in the round. As HPB put it: “Darwin’s starting point is placed in front of an open door. We are at liberty with him to either remain within, or cross the threshold, beyond which lies the limitless and the incomprehensible.”

The Patterns Of Intelligence

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“Here Science is once more silent. But since there is no Self-consciousness as yet in either speck, seed, or germ, according to both Materialists and Psychologists of the modern school …what is it that guides the force or forces so unerringly in this process of evolution? Blind force?

“For, whoever knows anything of the anatomy of the human, or even of any animal, body, and is still an atheist and a materialist, must be ‘hopelessly insane,’ according to Lord Herbert, who rightly sees in the frame of man’s body and the coherence of its parts … ‘to be the greatest miracle of nature.’

“Blind forces, ‘and no design’ in anything under the Sun— when no sane man of Science would hesitate to say that, even from the little he knows and has hitherto discovered of the forces at work in Kosmos, he sees very plainly that every part, every speck and atom are in harmony with their fellow atoms, and  these with the whole, each having its distinct mission throughout the life-cycle.” (The Secret Doctrine 2:264)

Evolution On It’s Head

"China and Anjana"

"Anjana and Friend"

In her first major work, Isis Unveiled, Blavatsky plainly laid out her challenging premise:

“Darwin was wholly mistaken in tracing man back to the ape. On the contrary … it is the ape which has evolved from man. That, in the beginning, mankind were, morally and physically, the types and prototypes of our present race and of human dignity, by their beauty of form, regularity of feature, cranial development, nobility of sentiments, heroic impulses, and grandeur of ideal conceptions.”

Hanuman

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“This is a purely Brahmanic, Buddhistic, and kabalistic philosophy. Let any one inquire of an educated Brahman the reason for the respect shown to monkeys … indicated in the story of the valorous feats of Hanouma … and he would soon be disabused of the erroneous idea that the Hindus accord deific honors to a monkey-god. He would, perhaps, learn that the Hindu sees in the ape but what Manu desired he should: the transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family — a bastard branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter.”

A Divine Spirit

“He might learn, further … the spiritual or inner man is one thing, and his terrestrial, physical casket another. That physical nature, the great combination of physical correlations of forces ever creeping on toward perfection, has to avail herself of the material at hand— she models and remodels as she proceeds, and finishing her crowning work in man, presents him alone as a fit tabernacle for the overshadowing of the Divine spirit.”


hpb14“…. to reject a scientific hypothesis, however absurd, is to commit the one unpardonable sin! We risk it.

Peeling the Onion

auraTHIS post is not a review of Gunter Grass’ WWII novelistic memoir of the same title. It is about a much different struggle — of rescuing “consciousness” from the camp of reductionist science, where it had degraded and starved for decades.

This was to be the outspoken agenda of H. P. Blavatsky in her Secret Doctrine.

The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not ‘a fortuitous concurrence of atoms,’ and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe,” she wrote, and

“—to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring.”

19th Century

onion10“… the rejection of these teachings may be expected, and must be accepted beforehand,” Blavatsky wrote, and that “No one styling himself a ‘scholar,’ in whatever department of exact science, will be permitted to regard these teachings seriously.

They will be derided and rejected a priori in this century—but only in this one. For in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined…” (Introduction, p. xxxvii)

20th Century

onion5There was Frederick W.H. Meyers, whose book, Human Personality And Its Survival Of Bodily Death, came out in 1903. And Does ‘Consciousness’ Exist? (1904), by William James, the accredited father of modern psychology. In these two we sense the first glimmer of the scholarly recognition Blavatsky predicted. 

Yet, “What consciousness is can never be defined psychologically,” Blavatsky wrote, cutting to the chase:

“We can analyse and classify its work and effects—we cannot define it, unless we postulate an Ego distinct from the body.”

21st Century

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Pam Reynolds’ Near Death Experience

One of the best documentaries made about Near Death Experiences, by the BBC. Featuring many top scientists that have studied NDEs and other related incidents.

“The Day I Died: The Mind, the Brain, and Near-Death Experiences”

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The Consciousness Revolution

That postulate came decades later in 1975, the centennial of the Theosophical Movement, with the appearance of Raymond Moody and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon–Survival of Bodily Death.

The emerging “consciousness revolution” of the 1970’s, sparked, arguably, by the neuroscientist and Nobel laureate, Roger Sperry, witnessed the appearance of forefront organizations such as the Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973.

It was IONS’ President Emeritus, Dr. Willis Harman, who recognized importantly that:

“[We] have previously acknowledged her [H.P. Blavatsky] as an integral part of our own origins.” … “[T]he modern scientific worldview is inherently flawed and misleading in ways vital to the well-being of individuals and societies, and inimical to the future viability of human civilization.”

Dr. Peter Russell

More Thinkers Begin Peeling

Dozens of new frontier thinkers gradually gained momentum in the Twentieth Century.

onion6 Luminaries like I. M. Oderberg, Fritjof Capra, William Tiller, Ervin Laszlo, Charles Tart, Dean Radin, Amit Goswami, Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lipton, Brian Weiss and many others — gathered around the idea that consciousness is not simply a by-product of matter or the brain—a teaching introduced in 1888 by Theosophist H. P. Blavatsky:

Theosophists…are the first to recognize the intrinsic value of science. But when its high priests resolve consciousness into a secretion from the gray matter of the brain … we protest against the doctrine as being unphilosophical, self-contradictory, and simply absurd, from a scientific point of view, as much and even more than from the occult aspect of the esoteric knowledge. (The Secret Doctrine 1:296)

dracaena_cane3Bio-Communication

Not to be outpeeled by science’s big new guns, in 1966 professional polygrapher Cleve Backster began his discovery of a new paradigm in science he called Primary Perception.  Here, in some rare footage, Backster describes his thirty-six years of research in bio-communication:

The Mother Of All Onions

galaxy4Expanding further in the light of Theosophy, consciousness is shown to be the very foundation of the universe. H. P. Blavatsky explains:

“The Boundless (absolute consciousness) can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned. In the occult teachings, the Unknown and the Unknowable mover, or the Self-Existing, is the absolute divine Essence,” she wrote.

“And thus being Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Motion- to the limited senses of those who describe this indescribable- it is unconsciousness and immoveableness

“Consciousness implies limitations and qualifications; something to be conscious of, and someone to be conscious of it. But Absolute Consciousness contains the cognizer, the thing cognized and the cognition, all three in itself and all three one.”

The Global Consciousness Project

Now, Princeton Scientist, Dr. Roger Nelson, and IONS Senior Scientist Dr. Dean Radin, after decades of experimental research, scientifically demonstrate the existence of what appears to be a universal consciousness:

Peeling Reductionism

If H. P. Blavatsky were writing The Secret Doctrine today, many of our century’s fearless thinkers would be included in its pages.

Sir John Eccles

Theosophical writer, David Pratt, describes Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Sir John Eccles’ “theory of mind.”

“Over the course of several decades, partly in collaboration with the philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper,” Pratt explains, “Eccles has developed an alternative theory of the mind, known as dualist-interactionism. His basic philosophical starting point is one with which theosophists can wholeheartedly agree:”

“I maintain that the human mystery is incredibly demeaned by scientific reductionism, with its claim in promissory materialism to account eventually for all of the spiritual world in terms of patterns of neuronal activity. This belief must be classed as a superstition. . . . we have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains existing in a material world.”

Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self, p. 241

Dean Radin, Ph.D on Quantum Physics

“While mechanistic science concentrates on reducing things to basic material building blocks,” writes Pratt (Theosophy and the Systems View of Life” – Sunrise magazine, April/May 1991,) “the emerging holistic paradigm recognizes that systems are integrated wholes whose properties cannot be reduced to those of smaller units.”

“The two fundamental themes of this systems view of life,” Pratt maintains, “are the universal interconnectedness and interdependence of all phenomena, and the intrinsically dynamic nature of reality, seen in dynamic processes and interrelationships as well as principles of self-organization.”

Peter Russell: “From Science To God”

Mind Over Matter

In her first work, Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky describes how a trained yogi could, “through the entire subjugation of the matter of his [physical] system,” purify himself and become “nearly freed from its prison.”  He can “produce wonders,” she says, and “a simple desire of his has become creative force, and he can command the elements and powers of nature.”

“His body is no more an impediment to him; hence he can converse ‘spirit to spirit, breath to breath.’ Under his extended palms, a seed, unknown to him … will germinate instantly, and push its way through the soil.

“Developing in less than two hours’ time to a size and height which, perhaps, under ordinary circumstances, would require several days or weeks, it grows miraculously under the very eyes of the perplexed experimenter, and mockingly upsets every accepted formula in Botany.”

“Is this a miracle?”

“By no means,” she assures her readers.

“His magnetism, obeying his will, drew up the akasa [spiritual force] in a concentrated current through the plant towards his hands.”

And concludes: “by keeping up an uninterrupted flow for the requisite space of time, the life-principle of the plant built up cell after cell, layer after layer, with preternatural activity, until the work was done.”

A Qui Gong Master Demonstrates

“In 1888, Blavatsky’s explanations of the creation of the Universe, of physics and metaphysics,” writes forensic psychologist Christopher Holmes, Ph.D, “offered a viewpoint totally incomprehensible in terms of what were the fashionable scientific viewpoints and theories.”

H. P. Blavatsky

H. P. Blavatsky

“The Secret Doctrine was bound to be ignored and dismissed,” Dr. Holmes continues: “As it happens however… a century of scientific advances and the profound ‘new physics’ and cosmology of twenty first century are beginning to vindicate Blavatsky’s utterly awesome work on cosmic origins and ancient wisdom teachings.”

“Ancient mystical maxims and modern scientific theories can be placed side by side to draw comparisons. When it comes to the ultimate questions of the origin of the Cosmos and understanding the laws of nature, it turns out that science and mysticism are not such a world apart-except in the interpretation of the data and the theories of science.”

“Science is beginning to arrive at those levels of reality spoken of by the mystics who penetrate the Heart and soul to the grounds of Being.


This is a video of Cleve Baxter, a polygraph scientist who did the controversial experiment with plants and animal cells. In the 60s, he decided on impulse to attach his polygraph electrodes to the now-famous dracaena in his office, then water the plant and see if the leaves responded (p. 4). Finding that the plant indeed reacted to this event, he decided to see what would happen if he threatened it, and formed in his mind the idea of lighting a match to the leaf where the electrodes were attached.

And that was when something happened that forever changed Baxter’s life and ours. For the plant didn’t wait for him to light the match. It reacted to his thoughts!

Through further research, Baxter found that it was his intent, and not merely the thought itself, that brought about this reaction.

Angels and Atoms

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William Blake

“The man of real Faith … intuitively feels Divine Presence in all space, Divine Motion in all evolution, Divine Intelligence operating everywhere…” –B.P. Wadia

This Divine Intelligence, or Presence, is also referred to as “Karana” in The Secret Doctrine:

“The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart — invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through ‘the still small voice’ of our spiritual consciousness.”

“Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls—making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence.”

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Life Eternal

“To the follower of the true Eastern archaic Wisdom, to him who worships in spirit nought outside the Absolute Unity,” H. P. Blavatsky says — “that ever-pulsating great Heart that beats throughout, as in every atom of nature — each such atom contains the germ from which he may raise the Tree of Knowledge, whose fruits give life eternal and not physical life alone.” -H. P. Blavatsky, SD 2-588

“Having sprung into being under the quickening influence of the uncreated beam, the reflection of the great Central Sun, that radiates on the shores of the river of Life, it is the inner principle in them which belongs to the waters of immortality, while its differentiated clothing is as perishable as man’s body. Therefore Young was right in saying that

“Angels are men of a superior kind”

Sun, The Heart

“The Sun has but one distinct function; it gives the impulse of life to all that breathes and lives under its light. The sun is the throbbing heart
of the system; each throb being an impulse. But this heart is invisible: no astronomer will ever see it. -Transactions p.116

Awakening

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A Conscious Universe

“Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious,” says The Secret Doctrine, ” endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. We men must remember that because we do not perceive any signs — which we can recognise — of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there. There is no such thing as either ‘dead’ or ‘blind’ matter, as there is no ‘Blind’ or ‘Unconscious’ Law. These find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy.”

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“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 Cosmos Is Guided

“The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man — the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm — is the living witness to this Universal Law, and to the mode of its action.

“The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who — whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels — are “messengers” in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws.

“All are entitled to the grateful reverence of Humanity, however, and man ought to be ever striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task.”

galaxy1Becoming Divine

Each Entity must have won for itself the right of becoming divine, through self-experience,” Blavatsky says, and quoting Hegel, “the Unconscious evolved the Universe only ‘in the hope of attaining clear self-consciousness,’ of becoming, in other words, man

“This is also the secret meaning of the usual Puranic phrase about Brahma being constantly ‘moved by the desire to create.’ This explains also the hidden Kabalistic meaning of the saying: ‘The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.’ The Mind-born Sons, the Rishis, the Builders, etc., were all men — of whatever forms and shapes — in other worlds and the preceding Manvantaras [Great Cycles].”

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Harmonious Revolution

“Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is one vast series of mathematically correct combinations. Plato shows the Deity geometrizing. The world is sustained by the same law of equilibrium and harmony upon which it was built. The centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres; all forms are the product of this dual force in nature.”

The Brain In Pain

Integral spiritual advancement, Theosophy teaches, can only occur while in a physical body. It’s a two-way street, and any damage, especially to the brain, hinders the expression of the Divine Ego. In “My Fair Lady” Eliza finally “gets it,” and is an apt metaphor — “the brain in pain won’t stay mainly (and healthily) on this plane,” and it is crucial that it does. We progress only “by self-induced and self-devised efforts,” according to the Third Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine.

The brain has spiritual centers such as the pineal glad. These are harmed by hallucinogens — these medications act as “meditation in reverse,” and the powers required for spiritual progress — meditation, concentration, and will — are thus severely hampered.

Brain Chemistry

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Heavy Weight

“Thus, to illustrate our case, we may designate the spirit as the centrifugal, and the soul as the centripetal, spiritual energies,” Blavatsky writes. And, “When in perfect harmony, both forces produce one result—break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the center which attracts it—arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, and the harmony of the whole, which was its life, is destroyed.”

“Individual life can only be continued if sustained by this two-fold force. The least deviation from harmony damages it — it is destroyed beyond redemption, the forces separate and the form is gradually annihilated.”

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Harmful Beliefs And Emotions

H. P. Blavatsky’s Teachers, the two Mahatmas of Mahatma Letters, were adamant on this issue:

“The God of the theologians is simply an imaginary power…. Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery…” (Mahatma KH)

“The Individuality … to run successfully its sevenfold downward and upward course has to assimilate to itself the eternal life-power residing but in the seventh [Spirit] and then blend the three (fourth, fifth and seventh) [Desire, Mind and Universal Spirit] into one – the sixth [Spiritual Individuality]. Those who succeed in doing so become Buddhas … The chief object of our struggle and initiations is to achieve this union while yet on this earth.” (Mahatma M)

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Human = A Necessary Stage

“The Doctrine teaches that, in order to become a divine, fully conscious god, – aye, even the highest – the Spiritual primeval INTELLIGENCES must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world, i.e., to those Intelligences that have reached the appropriate equilibrium between matter and spirit—as we have now…”

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Ram Dass Interviews Thich Nhat Hanh
On Mindfulness

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Our Higher Ego

“But if we admit the existence of a higher or permanent Ego in us — which Ego must not be confused with what we call the ‘Higher Self,’ we can comprehend that what we often regard as dreams, generally accepted as idle fancies, are, in truth, stray pages torn out from the life and experiences of the inner man, and the dim recollection of which at the moment of awakening becomes more or less distorted by our physical memory.”

The brain-mind or personal ego, Blavatsky says, only “catches mechanically a few impressions of the thoughts, facts witnessed, and deeds performed by the inner man during its hours of complete freedom.  “The physical man cannot feel or be conscious during dreams,” she says, “for the personality, the outer man, with its brain and thinking apparatus, are paralyzed more or less completely.”

Living The Higher Life

“For our Ego lives its own separate life within its prison of clay whenever it becomes free from the trammels of matter, i.e., during the sleep of the physical man,” she assures her students. And that it is “This Ego which is the actor, the real man, the true human self.”

train21“We might well compare the real Ego to a prisoner, and the physical personality to the gaoler of his prison. If the gaoler falls asleep, the prisoner escapes, or, at least, passes outside the walls of his prison. The gaoler is half asleep, and looks nodding all the time out of a window, through which he can catch only occasional glimpses of his prisoner, as he would a kind of shadow moving in front of it. But what can he perceive, and what can he know of the real actions, and especially the thoughts, of his charge?”

Atonement

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“The Higher Manas [mind] or EGO is essentially divine, and therefore pure,” Mme. Blavatsky writes: “— no stain can pollute it, as no punishment can reach it, per se, the more so since it is innocent of, and takes no part in, the deliberate transactions of its Lower Ego.”

“Yet by the very fact that, though dual and during life the Higher is distinct from the Lower, “the Father and Son” are one, and because that in reuniting with the parent Ego, the Lower Soul fastens upon and impresses upon it all its bad as well as good actions — both have to suffer…

“… the Higher Ego, though innocent and without blemish, has to bear the punishment of the misdeeds committed by the lower Self together with it in their future incarnation. The whole doctrine of atonement is built upon this old esoteric tenet; for the Higher Ego is the antitype of that which is on this earth the type, namely, the personality.”

Nicholas Roerich

"Madonna Oriflamma" - Nicholas Roerich

"Madonna Oriflamma" Nicholas Roerich

A Mystery

“This subject, being so very mystical, is therefore the most difficult to explain in all its details and bearings—since the whole mystery of evolutionary creation is contained in it. … every atom in the Universe has the potentiality of self-consciousness in it, and is, like the Monads of Leibnitz, a Universe in itself, and for itself.”

It is an atom and an angel.


A Mind of Their Own

Buddha in the SnowKRISHNA assures an uncertain Arjuna that he has lived many lives on Earth.

“Both I and thou have passed through many births,” the Master tells his disciple (Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. 4:31):

“Mine are known unto me, but thou knowest not of thine.”

The fact is most people don’t recall their past lives, because in every rebirth the immortal soul must endure a new body and astral body, a new personality and a new physical brain. 

Being handed an empty photo album is a challenge to the incoming soul, hindering it finding a conscious connection to prior experiences and knowledge. Thus “the new ‘personality,’” Blavatsky wrote (Key to Theosophy, Ch. 8), “is no better than a fresh suit of clothes.”

Being so, yet “the record or reflection of all the past lives must survive,” H. P. Blavatsky continues, “for when Prince Siddhartha became Buddha the full sequence of His previous births were seen by Him.” In such a state he was able, she says, “to retrospectively trace the lines of all his lives.”

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Eye of Light

Helen Keller, Age 7

Helen Keller, Age 7

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”– Helen Keller

Many people are suffering today as the world’s financial crisis worsens, property values decline, jobs are lost. We’ve been there before — contraction, recession, depression, expansion— a sure sign of the ruling law of cycles at work.

The Founders took pains to include the “All Seeing Eye” on our dollar bills, but ironically, we prefer to suffer the inevitable consequencesall-seeing-eye2 of our material shenanigans by ignoring the spiritual flip side.

CYCLES RULE

“This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity,” Blavatsky insists, and “in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

As Krishna tells it in The Bhagavad-Gita, “These two, light and darkness, are the world’s eternal ways.”

Reincarnation is the evolutionary means by which lessons are learned. “It is abundantly clear that one life,” William Q. Judge says in The Necessity for Reincarnation, “even if prolonged, is no more adequate to gain knowledge, acquire experience, solidify principle, and form character, than would one day in infancy be adequate to fit for the duties of mature manhood.”

It is only through this Law of coordinated rebirths, that our spiritual eye can be gradually be awakened permanently.

THE STORY OF JAMES – Part 1

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EVOLUTION TRIPLE

There are always three evolutionary forces in play, according to Theosophy — physical, mental and spiritual — “a triple evolutionary scheme,” Blavatsky writes, “which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point” (S.D. I, 181).

In this scheme, evolution is much more than a blind physical process. “The cycles must run their rounds,” a Master writes, “Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other, as day does night.” A Master’s Letter

LIGHT MATTERS

On our plane of existence, Spirit or light, and Matter or darkness, can never appear separately. They are twins — change one, you change the other. We carry them around every day, on dollar bills in our pockets, without realizing we are carrying around another spiritual light-bringer, the pineal gland in our brain.

drjilltaylor2This is referred to in the Bible: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light,” says Matthew 6:22, Luke 11:34.

The pineal gland is a small organ in the brain resembling a pine cone; technically called the epiphysis, forming part of the ventricular or hollow center of the brain, connected with the central canal of the spinal cord.

SPIRITUAL MIND

“[T]he pineal gland, as shown, is far more connected with Soul and Spirit than with the physiological senses of man,” Blavatsky writes, “…for nature never creates the smallest, the most insignificant form without some definite purpose and use.”

It was an active organ, we say, at that stage of evolution when the spiritual element in man reigned supreme over the hardly nascent intellectual and psychic elements. The eye is the mirror and also the window of the soul, says popular wisdom, and Vox populi Vox Dei.

“[T]he pineal gland,” Blavatsky says, “… is the very key to the highest and divinest consciousness in manhis omniscient, spiritual and all embracing mind.” – Dialogue on the Mysteries of the Afterlife

“…there is a power in man which enables him to judge aright—he has the all-seeing eye,” Robert Crosbie writes, in The Kingly Mystery [13] — “the all-encompassing sight which permits him to see the justice of all things.” This power implies a choice, he says – “The questions before each human being are: Whom will ye serve?”

STRETCHING CONSCIOUSNESS

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PROGRESSIVE AWAKENINGS

“Progressive awakenings,” are a hallmark of H. P. Blavatsky’s teachings in The Secret Doctrine. “As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities,” she writes,

and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached “reality;” but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya [illusion]. (SD I:39-40.)

ATTRACTING ATTENTION

But what practical measures can we take to achieve freedom from delusion? An example of the popular idiom “Be careful what you ask for” is the law of attraction, described first by William Q. Judge, in an article titled simply KARMA:

“By directing the mind and aspirations to the lower plane,” he writes, “a ‘fire’ or centre of attraction, is set up there, and in order to feed and fatten it, the energies of the whole upper plane are drawn down and exhausted in supplying the need of energy which exists below due to the indulgence of sense gratification.”

On the other hand, the centre of attraction may be fixed in the upper portion, and then all the needed energy goes there to result in increase of spirituality. It must be remembered that Nature is all bountiful and withholds not her hand. The demand is made, and the supply will come. But at what cost?

CHILDHOOD REINCARNATION PART 1

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Stressing the importance of what we absorb in early childhood, leading to the age of responsibility, Blavatsky writes:

Man has his “double” or shadow, properly so called, around which the physical body of the foetus—the future man—is built. The imagination of the mother, or an accident which affects the child, will affect also the astral body. The astral and the physical both exist before the mind is developed into action, and before the Atma [spirit] awakes. This occurs when the child is seven years old, and with it comes the responsibility attaching to a conscious sentient being. (Raja Yoga or Occultism)

CHILDHOOD REINCARNATION PART 2

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This is the “Third Fundamental” of Theosophy, human beings engaging a series of developmental stages. According to this, we acquire our individuality “first by natural impulse,” before the age of seven, “and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts” thereafter.

Each stage the reincarnating soul is “checked by its Karma,” Blavatsky says, and gradually “ascending through all the degrees of intelligence.” This is repeated at each of our new births, and the full acquirement of the highest spiritual mind could take many lifetimes.

The subject of the evolution of human beings cycling on a sevenfold plan, over millions of years, is vast. The journey is mirrored by like changes in the Earth itself, and will be continued in our next post.


A Right Christmas

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Dreaming Of A Right Christmas

“Children of Light, as ye go forth into the world,
seek to render gentle service to all that lives.”
– Egyptian Papyrus of Ani

I’m mostly a vegetarian, for ethical reasons, and have a growing passion for “the soul of things.” Reverence for life is something everyone understands, within reasonable limits.

I reluctantly “kill” a few carrots, tomatoes and salad greens every day. But I never was a Grinch about Christmas. Though I did oppose the roast turkey.

A friend reminds me that “Native Americans had reverence and gratitude as they sacrificed a deer for their food and clothing…it’s a matter of consciousness and attitude in what you do.”

“As long as we are imprisoned in this octave,” she says, “things will die to sustain us….look at the big picture.”

INTENTION

“It is the motive, and the motive alone,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in Practical Occultism,which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic.” Lynn McTaggart thinks our intentions can change the world.

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MINDFULNESS

Maybe I’m a little weird. After all, even Buddhist monks have a bowl of rice every day. And, yes, “Hitler was a vegetarian.” The justification for my oddity is, at the very least, I am thinking about what I do! (My friend said, “Buddhists call that ‘mindfulness.'”)

This is how, Blavatsky admits, she understood the teaching of her Masters: “every plant without an exception feels and has a consciousness of its own.”

And, it is a axiom of The Secret Doctrine, that:

Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. (1:274)

“When we try to pick out anything by itself,” wrote John Muir, America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, “we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

Plastic didn’t seem very hitched. And I was increasingly uncomfortable with “factory farmed” Christmas trees. What then should I do?

WHEN IN ROME

Living in the country, I could decorate, like any good Pagan, some sacred evergreen growing nearby. Here in the city, one can buy a potted evergreen. We did once, a few years back.

But it was even more painful to watch a live tree, isolated from its forest companions, die a slow death inside a stuffy apartment. With nowhere to replant it outdoors, it just didn’t feel right.

Growing up with strong feelings for the sacredness of life, and with much of my early childhood spent out-of-doors, it was natural to be an advocate for Nature. Now, in desperation, two days before Christmas, I faced an agonizing decision.

EVERYTHING GOT WRONG

Bundled against the bitter New York City wind and icy sidewalks, at a corner where a recently bailed-out-bank ironically thrived, the deed was done. I killed a tree that day.

“It was just cut,” a woman representing a local Boy Scout Troop injected, as I admired one in particular. A six-foot spruce from nearby Pennsylvania. Indeed, the needles were firm and fragrant, its tapering trunk and welcoming branches a work of art.

Then, amidst the blare of car horns, the little tree lay unflinching as it received a swift and indifferent Coup de grâce from an eager 12-year old Scout. A “fresh cut” was sawed from the base of its sap-stained stump. I paid cash.

At that moment, Oppenheimer’s knee-jerk quote from the Bhagavad-Gita, uttered at the first atomic test in New Mexico in 1945, overtook my violated conscience: “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

RECONCILIATION

The Bhagavad-Gita is preeminently an ethical treatise. It inculcates teachings applicable to daily life, suited not only to the time in which it was written, but for all time. So it was consoling to recall a quite different passage from the Gita, where Krishna, the Higher Self, counsels his favorite disciple:

I accept and enjoy the offerings of the humble soul who in his worship with a pure heart offereth a leaf, a flower, or fruit, or water unto me. Whatever thou doest…whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, whatever mortification thou performest, commit each unto me. Thus thou shalt be delivered from the good and evil experiences which are the bonds of action; and thy heart being joined to renunciation and to the practice of action, thou shalt come to me.

Holding these words daily in our heart, we are reborn every moment. Like the Teacher, we can become a Master of all seasons. Another of Blavatsky’s Masters in a similar vein, as quoted by her (see- Altruism in The Secret Doctrine):

He who does not practice altruism; he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself; he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, whenever and wherever he meets suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does not undertake his defense as he would undertake his own — is no Theosophist.

FRAGRANCE OF THE GOOD

A question posed to a disciple in The Voice of the Silence: “Hast thou attuned thy being to Humanity’s great pain, 0 candidate for light?,” reminded me of a New York Times Op-Ed piece (N. Y. Times (12/22/08), “Hard Times, a Helping hand.”)

Writing about the Great Depression’s mysterious benefactor “B. Virdot,” contributor Ted Gup says: “He sought no credit for acts of conscience. He saw them as the debt we owe one another and ourselves.”

The Times article is a must read, worthy of The Laws of Manu (Manava-Dharma-Sastra), and a modern lesson which could have been taken straight out of the 2500 year old injunctions of The Buddha, embodied in “The Dhammapada,” (Ch. 4, 11-16.):

“[T]he fragrance of the good wafts even against the wind. The fragrance of the good man pervades all his ways. … From a heap of rubbish on the roadside, a lily blooms, fragrant and pleasing; from a mass of blinded mortals arises the disciple of the truly Wise One…”

NON-SEPARATENESS

“[S]piritual perfection and spiritual knowledge can only be reached on the spiritual plane,” Blavatsky writes in Theosophy Queries: Answer to a Letter. Achieved, she adds, “…only in that state in which all sense of separateness, all selfishness, all feeling of personal interest and desire, has been merged in the wider consciousness of the unity of Mankind.”

Universal ethics were pointed to by her at every opportunity, against whatever the odds or snickering of her critics. We quote in full:

Now it is a fundamental doctrine of Theosophy that the “separateness” which we feel between ourselves and the world of living beings around us is an illusion, not a reality. In very deed and truth, all men are one, not in a feeling of sentimental gush and hysterical enthusiasm, but in sober earnest. As all Eastern philosophy teaches, there is but ONE SELF in all the infinite Universe, and what we men call “self” is but the illusionary reflection of the ONE SELF in the heaving waters of earth.

True Occultism is the destruction of the false idea of Self, and therefore true spiritual perfection and knowledge are nothing else but the complete identification of our finite “selves” with the Great All. It follows, therefore, that no spiritual progress at all is possible except by and through the bulk of Humanity. It is only when the whole of Humanity has attained happiness that the individual can hope to become permanently happy — for the individual is an inseparable part of the Whole.

SPIRITUAL PERFECTION

Hence there is no contradiction whatever between the altruistic maxims of Theosophy and its injunction to kill out all desire for material things, to strive after spiritual perfection. For spiritual perfection and spiritual knowledge can only be reached on the spiritual plane; in other words, only in that state in which all sense of separateness, all selfishness, all feeling of personal interest and desire, has been merged in the wider consciousness of the unity of Mankind.

This shows also that no blind submission to the commands of another can be demanded, or would be of any use. Each individual must learn for himself, through trial and suffering, to discriminate what is beneficial to Humanity; and in proportion as he develops spiritually, i.e., conquers all selfishness, his mind will open to receive the guidance of the Divine Monad within him, his Higher Self, for which there is neither Past nor Future, but only an eternal NOW.

(From Blavatsky Collected Writings 11:104-6)

Purchase on Amazon:  H.P.B. Collected Writings, 15: Cumulative Index (H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings)

The Wonder of You

WHEN disturbing, destructive events invade our collective human consciousness, we have the power as spiritual beings to transmute and heal those negative energies.

If there is news of corruption, greed, suffering — embedding their messages into our psyches — how do we counter their debilitating influences – mental, physical and psychological?

The forces impacting our personal, national and global life, have taught us much about ‘inherent evil.’  But what of ‘inherent good?’

This week, we intended a post about modern cosmology and evolution, in the light of Theosophy.

We choose, instead to focus on optimism and light, against the numbing pessimism of materialism. Continue reading

The Reality of Illusion

VIEWED as the dependable Gaia, our Mother Earth is a beautiful and bountiful haven for life in the cosmos.

But day to day living here represents a wide variety of experiences, not all of them necessarily compatible.

For example, artists, writers, poets, mathematicians, shamans, homeless persons, business people, storm chasers.

Each of them experiences our shared planet through their own unique lens.

Each hears, sees, tastes and feels based upon their particular worldview, and these unique affectations manifest in an infinitude of variations.

“Why is it that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones,” H. P. Blavatsky asks,

“while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect.”

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Sacred Tribe of Heroes

YOU must not think that the gods are without employment, explained Synesius, the Greek bishop of Ptolemais.

The idea is developed by theosophist W. Q. Judge in his article “Cycles,” about the duty of the ancient gods to watch over humanity:

“For they descend according to orderly periods of time,” Synesius wrote,

“… for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.”

“For this providence is divine and most ample, which frequently through one man pays attention to and affects countless multitudes of men.”

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Descent of the Gods

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Real Human Solidarity

Luna: Dancing Krishna

Luna: Dancing Krishna

WHEN we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence we experience the loss of soul, many shamanic societies  say.

“Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence, Gabrielle Roth attests, “are the four universal healing salves.”

For Roth physical movement, according to an Huffpost article, “is key to unlocking the spirit.”

She was an incredibly influential teacher of meditative dance and the creator of the 5Rhythms movement practice.”

“Roth dedicated her life, heart and soul to exploring how to engage her spirit and creativity through dance and movement — and helping others to do the same. The effect of her influence is palpable.”

“Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth,”  she claimed. It is notable in this regard that two of the most powerful ancient gods, Krishna and Shiva, are so often depicted as dancing, and Krishna additionally is shown at the same time playing the flute.

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Nora and Leo: Trick and Treat!

HALLOWEEN is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Known also as a harvest festival, called Samhain (“Summer’s End”), it is rooted in Celtic polytheism. The word is also the Irish and Scottish Gaelic name for November.

It was the beginning of a “darker” season on Earth, with less sunlight and shorter days. In place of the usual psychic horrors and scary costumes, we chose instead to consider the symbol of an inner or hidden sun, represented by the flaming candle placed inside a pumpkin.

Samhain is similar to the Gothic samana, and the Sanskrit sámana. The Hindu God Krishna, symbol of the Higher Self, notably incarnates cyclically at mankind’s darkest times. 

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Lighted from Within