Theosophy

Boris de Zirkoff’s  talk on  INNER AWARENESS

Edited by Hector Tate

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[From the last issue of Theosophia a magazine that was published every three months, from May 1944 till June 1981.  It's objectives were: to uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, and to disseminate the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers. It's Editor was Boris de Zirkoff.]

Read more: Boris de Zirkoff’s  talk on  INNER AWARENESS

Rudolf Steiner's Teachings in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

Antti  Savinainen – Finland

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Rudolf Steiner

Introduction

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) published a series of articles titled How to Know Higher Worlds? (in German Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten?) in the journal Lucifer-Gnosis between 1904 and 1905. These articles were published as a book in 1909. Steiner reworked his text extensively several times. The book's title has also changed with the translations: the English translation with all Steiner’s changes appeared with the title Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment. Steiner intended to create such a precise description of spiritual practices and the way to proceed that the presence of a teacher or guru, as required by the old spiritual tradition, would become superfluous.

Read more: Rudolf Steiner's Teachings in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

Understanding Universal Intelligence

Deepa Padhi – India

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Deepa Padhi, International Vice President and Tim Boyd, International President of the TS-Adyar

The very concept of universal intelligence suggests that the universe is created by intelligent design. There is an intelligent principle working behind the universe and it exists for a purpose. The creation is teleological, not mechanical or coincidental.

Read more: Understanding Universal Intelligence

Universal Intelligence and the Human Condition

Tim Boyd – USA, India

Tim and Michiel

Photo taken in Adyar a few years ago, MICHIEL HAAS and TIM BOYD 

One of the wonders of the theosophical endeavor is that people find their way to it, their meaning in it, then expand on that according to their own understanding and needs. There are people for whom the Theosophical Society (TS) and its work are related to history, the work of tracing the thread of wisdom that runs through the complex tapestry of humanity’s unfoldment — identifying it as it appears and expresses in different times and cultures, and through different people.

Read more: Universal Intelligence and the Human Condition

Theosophical Meditation: A question from Dewald Bester for the Theosophical Society

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Nada Yoga

With reactions-contemplations from David M. Grossman, Esther Pockrandt, Pablo Sender and Juliana Cesano

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Dewald Bester, Cape Town – South Africa

I am late to this topic, but I will, at least to my satisfaction, solve this problem. That, or some more drastic action will have to be taken - one that so many before me have taken.

Here is a quote from the Inner Group Teachings, an answer to a question - we trust it is a faithful recollection,

H.P.B. said she had seen the chelas, mounting the seven steps of the spine, close the ears, nostrils, eyes, and lastly the mouth, holding the breath for a short time.(1995, 17).

Read more: Theosophical Meditation: A question from Dewald Bester for the Theosophical Society

The Nature of Theosophical Meditation

Pablo Sender – USA

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Pablo Sender

The Theosophical Society (TS) played a pioneering role in introducing meditation to the Western world. During the early 1880s, the TS started presenting the idea of meditation through publications in theosophical journals. Meanwhile, H. P. Blavatsky (HPB) privately trained a small group of individuals in meditation, particularly her pupils in the Inner Group. This was decades before Hindu swamis and Buddhist monks began to talk about meditation in the West. In the second generation of theosophists, individuals such as Annie Besant, C. W. Leadbeater, and others began to present this subject more systematically and extensively in their talks and books.

Read more: The Nature of Theosophical Meditation

The Power of One:  Collective Consciousness and Individuality

Esther Pockrandt – Australia

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[Part 2: Individuality; for Part 1 click HERE] 

The Theosophical emblem is surrounded by the translation of the Sanskrit words, “Satyāt nāsti paro dharmah”, ‘There is no Religion (or path) Higher than Truth’.

ANNIE Besant

Annie Besant

In the Ageless Wisdom texts, we are constantly reminded that we are ONE and that that which separates or divides is not the Truth. We know this intellectually and repeat it in our spiritual circles. We recite The Universal Prayer by Annie Besant:

Oh hidden life vibrant in every atom,

Oh hidden light shining in every creature,

Oh hidden love uniting all in Oneness,

May all who feel themselves as one with Thee,

Know they are therefore one with every other.

Read more: The Power of One:  Collective Consciousness and Individuality

Each Member A Centre

William Quan Judge –  USA

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William Quan Judge

Some years ago one of those Masters in whom so many of our members believe directed H.P.B. to write a letter for him to a certain body of Theosophists. In this he said that each member could become, in his own town or city, if earnest, sincere and unselfish, an active centre from which would radiate unseen powerful forces able to influence men and women in the vicinity for good; and that soon enquirers would appear, a Branch in time be organized and thus the whole neighbourhood would receive benefit. This seems just and reasonable in addition to its being stated by such high authority. Members ought to consider and think over it so that action may follow.

Read more: Each Member A Centre

The Science of Spiritual Practices

Antti Savinainen – Finland

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The author

This essay is largely based on the book Science and Spiritual Practices (2018) by biologist Rupert Sheldrake (b. 1942). Sheldrake is an independent and courageous thinker and seeker with a PhD from the prestigious University of Cambridge. He has published research on plant physiology and parapsychology and developed the idea of the morphic field (more on this later in the article).

In his youth, Sheldrake was an atheist because he felt it was part of the scientific worldview. While studying biology, he found that its methods distanced him from plants and animals because the organisms he was studying had to be killed first. However, the holistic approach of the German philosopher and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe showed that there was another way to study nature. Sheldrake later explored meditation and the spirituality of different religions. He is now an open-minded Christian.

Read more: The Science of Spiritual Practices

Our Universal Objectives

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

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[Original cover-photo]

It is imperative for us at all times to make a clear distinction between the Theosophical Society as an organized body, and the Theosophical Movement as a world-wide trend towards universality of outlook and a more spiritual, therefore unified, view of life.

Read more: Our Universal Objectives

Do Animals Dream? (In the Light of Theosophy)

Do Animals Dream? (In the Light of Theosophy)

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Do animals dream like we do and, if so, what they are dreaming about? and if they do, about what? It is not easy to figure this out and yet, biologists feel that studying the dream-like states of octopuses, pigeons and spiders, can help us understand the purpose of human dreams. In order to dream, one must sleep, and scientists believe that there is no known animal that does not sleep. It may enable animals to get rid of waste products and toxins that build up when they are active, says Daniela Rößler, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Konstanz in Germany.

Read more: Do Animals Dream? (In the Light of Theosophy)

The Land and Us

Tim Boyd -- USA, India

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International President of theTheosophical Society-Adyar, Tim Boyd

I would like to share a few thoughts with you on a subject that may seem a little odd, “The Land and Us”. When we look around the world the land that we all inhabit universally seems to have great importance. No matter where we are from, or from what point of history we tend to look at, the land is the source of some of the highest human expressions.

Read more: The Land and Us

The Big Bang or The Big Bounce?

Jacques Mahnich - France

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Jacques Mahnich is an aeronautics engineer, author, lecturer and excellent violinist

Every morning the sun appears on the horizon in its natural amazing splendor. Even though we know that it is the movement of the earth around the sun which causes this regular appearance, this contact with the light is still enchanting. Every evening, we see it disappear without any worry because our experience, since birth, shows us that it will come back to enlighten and warm us the next day. It is the engine of life on this Earth.

Read more: The Big Bang or The Big Bounce?

Jellyfish (In the Light of Theosophy)

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Jellyfish, being one of the biologically simplest kinds of animal that lack brain, we would think that they cannot learn. Researchers had generally assumed that learning from experience and adapting a behaviour was limited to biologically complex animals with relatively large brains, which include mice, birds and primates. According to Jan Bielecki at Kiel University in Germany, “Learning is the pinnacle of nervous system performance.” But some studies have hinted that it is possible for simple creatures also to have this ability, and this led Bielecki and his colleagues to investigate learning in jellyfish, which has shown that Caribbean box jellyfish can learn from experience, even though they lack a central brain.

Read more: Jellyfish (In the Light of Theosophy)

The Cycle of Strength, Justice, and Unity

Douglas Keene – USA  

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Douglas Keene, who last year succeeded Barbara Hebert as President of the Theosophical Society in America 

When we consider the relationship between strength and unity, we must also consider justice, for justice is an outcome of strength and leads to unity. In fact, each quality can be seen as an essential bridge in the cycle, strength leading to justice, justice leading to unity and finally, unity back to strength. Love is the adhesive which holds the wheel in alignment. Each time that justice is achieved, strength and unity increase. When strength manifests, justice is possible. When we see strength and justice, unity usually follows.

Read more: The Cycle of Strength, Justice, and Unity

Krishna – Christos

Krishna – Christos

David M. Grossman – USA

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Krishna and Christos or Christ are names that reverberate across countries and civilizations deep into the fabric of human history; names that today resonate in the hearts and minds of millions upon millions of people, east and west, names  that represent divine incarnations to many, names that bring peace, inspiration and meaningful direction to people’s lives.

We know two of the world’s great religions revolve around Krishna and Christos, the latter referred to as Jesus the Christ or Jesus Christ. The term Christos was around long before it was conflated and made synonymous with Jesus. Some Gnostics spoke of Jesus as a great prophet who was overshadowed or illuminated by the Christos.

Read more: Krishna – Christos

Strength in Unity

Barbara Hebert – USA

 Barbara Hebert portrait

The author

When we think of diversity or the differences we see in our world, we don’t typically think of strength. Yet, diversity provides us with strength. The differences we see allow each of us to choose our own spiritual path, to grow in our own way. Through different perspectives, ideas, and thoughts, each of us can choose, or even create, our own path as we search for Truth. We may be reminded of Krishnamurti’s statement that “Truth is a pathless land.” As many of us can attest, it takes strength and courage to walk the spiritual path.

Read more: Strength in Unity

The Experience of Grace

Tim Boyd – USA, Inda

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Recent photo of Tim Boyd, International President of the Theosophical Society Adyar

At the outset of H. P. Blavatsky’s (HPB) Diagram of Meditation she mentions two essentials required in order to engage in the process of meditation. First, she talks about the necessity to “conceive of Unity”, and then she talks about the twin aspects involved in such an effort.

Read more: The Experience of Grace

The Language of the Future

Catalina Isaza-Cantor – Colombia, India

Catalina

The author resides and works at Adyar

[Note from the editor: this article is based on Catalina’s talk “The Language of the Future”, which she gave during a Zoom meeting organized by the United Lodge of Theosophists in San Diego on September 9, 2023.]

When I started to prepare my presentation, my first step was to do some introspection and try to visualize what or how the language of the future might be. While this question can be answered from many perspectives, I feel that the fact that we are in a theosophical circle, where the common goal is the creation of a nucleus of universal brotherhood/kinship, the approach from unity, fraternity, is fundamental when thinking about a language of the future or for the future.

Read more: The Language of the Future

The Power of One:  Collective Consciousness and Individuality

Esther Pockrandt – Australia

[Part 1: Collective Consciousness]

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What is collective consciousness?  Aristotle first argued that the whole is something greater than the sum of its parts. For good? or for bad? 

If thought is vibration, then surely it must, like air or water, pure or polluted, touch and swirl around all of us, collectively and individually, and have an effect. When many come together united in one vision, how powerful this would potentially be also. It certainly would not hurt to experiment with intent, and see if and how our own inner thought ‘clean-up’ would affect the quality of our own relationships, lives and health, to start with.  Some even advise, to be discerning with what type of group energy, or what kind of company one keeps, or exposes oneself to, if one wants, for example, to break habits of addiction or other. The power of One, must not be underestimated! 

Read more: The Power of One:  Collective Consciousness and Individuality

NOVEMBER 17 – What is our next step going to be?

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

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Next Step? 

One of the three main founders of the TS, William Quan Judge, at one point in time referring to a discussion he had with HPB in London, remembered what she in her own candid way had told him regarding the nucleus:

You were not directed to found and realize a Universal Brotherhood, but to form the nucleus for one  ; for it is only when the nucleus is formed that the accumulations can begin that will end in future years, however far, in the formation of that body which we have in view. [From: Yours till Death and after, HPB - Reprinted in Sunrise magazine, August/September 1985].

Read more: NOVEMBER 17 – What is our next step going to be?

Meat Eating Saints? (In the Light of Theosophy)

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Do saints commit sin if they consume meat? We hear that consuming rajasic/tamasic foods such as, junk food and meat, alcohol can not only harm one’s health but also hinder moksha or liberation. If consuming meat can have such serious consequences, then how some highly realized sages consumed meat? It is important to understand that spiritually realized people or Jeevan Mukta have risen beyond three gunas or qualities and hence what they eat does not affect their spiritual state or mind. In some cases, such beings smoked or consumed meat to take on bad karma or sins of certain devotees under exceptional conditions. Also, they intended to liberate the animals. The Gita (XVIII, 17) says that the one who is devoid of ego and free from any worldly desires and acts selflessly for the betterment of humanity, is not bound by karmic reactions of deeds that may look sinful. However, till such time that one reaches the state of spiritually realized sages, eating meat will result in sin and one’s downfall. One who kills animals for meat is unable to attain heaven or liberation. From the butcher, seller of meat, cook and the one who consumes is committing a sin.

Read more: Meat Eating Saints? (In the Light of Theosophy)

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