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)