Theosophy

The Dream That Never Dies

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

[This article appeared in Theosophia, Volume XIII, No 3 (69) Winter 1956-57]

We had dreamt of a better world ... We had been told by figures prominent on the stage of current history that the chances for peace and good-will among men were greater than ever ... With eager thought and hopeful heart, we had pictured ourselves a global family of nations bent upon a common task - the building of a new commonwealth of the people, dedicated to the arts of peace and progress. The harnessing of the atom for the good of all men, the development of science and research across all boundary lines and racial discrimination, the recognition of the simple right of all men to unfold their own particular lines of growth and culture ... all these, and many other noble ideals were floating in the ambient air, seeking for embodiment.

Read more: The Dream That Never Dies

The Great Paradox

H. P. Blavatsky

[This article was published in Lucifer 1.2 (October, 1887): 120-22, and reprinted in Collected Writings 8: “The authorship of this article is somewhat uncertain. Some of its sentences and expressions do not seem to be in H.P.B.’s style, yet the ‘atmosphere’ is her own. Bertram Keightley, closely associated with her on the editorial work connected with Lucifer, definitely states in his Reminiscenses of H. P. Blavatsky (Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1931) that besides writing her own editorials, H.P.B. also wrote ‘many other articles under more than one nom de plume,’ and the one of ‘Faust,’ appended at the end of the present article, may have been one of them.—Compiler.”]

Paradox would seem to be the natural language of occultism. Nay more, it would seem to penetrate deep into the heart of things, and thus to be inseparable from any attempt to put into words the truth, the reality which underlies the outward shows of life.

And the paradox is one not in words only, but in action, in the very conduct of life. The paradoxes of occultism must be lived, not uttered only. Herein lies a great danger, for it is only too easy to become lost in the intellectual contemplation of the path, and so to forget that the road can only be known by treading it.

Read more: The Great Paradox

The Voice of the Silence 6 (Verses 59-79)

John Algeo – USA

The last group of verses considered in this series ended with an assertion that, to walk the Path, we have to become the Path, an apparently paradoxical statement. But a paradox has been defined as a Truth standing on its head, so that assertion is also a Truth. In addition, it is said that the opposite of a little truth is a falsehood, but the opposite of a Great Truth is another Great Truth. This assertion is a Great Truth.

The verses continue by explaining what walking the path involves: “[59] Let thy soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun. [60] Let not the fierce sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer’s eye. [61] But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed. [62] These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal. ’Tis on such soil that grows the midnight blossom of Buddha33 more difficult to find, more rare to view than is the flower of the Vogay tree. It is the seed of freedom from rebirth. It isolates the Arhat both from strife and lust, it leads him through the fields of being unto the peace and bliss known only in the land of silence and non-being.”

Read more: The Voice of the Silence 6 (Verses 59-79)

THEO-PARROTS or THEO-SOPHISTS?

WE ALL WANT PEACE, SO WHY ARE WE DIVIDED?

Edi Bilimoria – the UK

Introduction by Jan Nicolaas Kind

The article you are about to read is an important one. It doesn’t pretend to promulgate any definite truths; instead it places question marks and encourages the reader to continue the investigative journey we all are on. Theosophy Forward offers a podium for many different Theosophical approaches and that is why we ask your attention for this significant piece. Edi Bilimoria, a regular Theosophy Forward contributor, now living in the UK, has been an investigative and positive critical member of the Adyar-based worldwide Theosophical movement for many years. His articles are published in several Theosophical periodicals.

Read more: THEO-PARROTS or THEO-SOPHISTS?

Empathy in The Kaliyuga

Ruth Richards – USA

[This essay—which is drawn from a talk at the International Theosophy Conference, August 2012 in Wheaton, IL—is about what we Theosophists can do during the “worst of times.” That is, what we can do right now. Sometimes we are able to offer a lot, and not only to help ourselves but all beings on the path of evolution. As per the single Chinese character carrying a double-meaning: With danger comes opportunity.]


Kaliyuga the Dark Age

Read more: Empathy in The Kaliyuga

Vow to Benefit Mankind

Nicholas Weeks – USA

Before we can “live to benefit mankind” 1  we must first resolve or vow to do so. As W.Q. Judge wrote:

“The good man who at last becomes even a sage, had at one time in his many lives to arouse the desire for the company of holy men and to keep his desire for progress alive in order to continue on his way. Even a Buddha or a Jesus had first to make a vow, which is a desire, in some life, that he would save the world or some part of it, and to persevere with the desire alive in his heart through countless lives.” 2

The Buddha praised the supreme Power of Vows by saying that for realizing Bodhisattva qualities, vows are more powerful than wisdom, patience or good actions. The Avatamsaka Sutra chapter 39, states: “The lamp of bodhi mind requires great compassion as its oil, great vows as its wick, and great wisdom as its flame.”

Read more: Vow to Benefit Mankind

The Voice of the Silence 5 (Verses 41-58)

John Algeo – USA

Having metaphorically passed through the three Halls to the Vale of Bliss in verses 17 to 40, we now encounter a different symbol, one central to this first fragment from the Book of the Golden Precepts, namely, sound.

A.  VERSES [41-50]. The next ten verses are concerned primarily with a metaphor of seven sounds, which are presented as the rungs of a ladder:

[41] Before thou sett’st thy foot upon the ladder’s upper rung, the ladder of the mystic sounds, thou hast to hear the voice of thy inner God [the Higher Self] in seven manners.

[42] The first is like the nightingale’s sweet voice chanting a song of parting to its mate.

[43] The second comes as the sound of a silver cymbal of the Dhyanis, awakening the twinkling stars.

[44] The next is as the plaint melodious of the ocean-sprite imprisoned in its shell.

[45] And this is followed by the chant of Vina.26

[46] The fifth, like sound of bamboo-flute, shrills in thine ear.

[47] It changes next into a trumpet-blast.

[48] The last vibrates like the dull rumbling of a thunder-cloud.

[49] The seventh swallows all the other sounds. They die, and then are heard no more.

[50] When the six 27 are slain and at the Master's feet are laid, then is the pupil merged into the ONE,28 becomes that ONE and lives therein.

B. COMMENT. Verse 41 begins by mentioning a ladder as a metaphor for the spiritual life. That mention echoes Jacob’s ladder: “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” [Genesis 28.12].

Read more: The Voice of the Silence 5 (Verses 41-58)

Living in The Eternal

Shirley J. Nicholson – USA

There is a peace that passes understanding.
It abides in the hearts of those who live in the eternal.

We live in an illusory world. Mountains, buildings, trees and flowers, even our own bodies seem substantial and real. Yet the Ancient Wisdom teaches that they are not. They are maya, illusion created by the quality of our minds that turns changing phantasmagoria into seemingly solid and lasting objects. Physics discovered that what seems solid rests on a reality of unimaginably small, constantly moving particles of electricity. But the illusion goes deeper than just physical objects.  The familiar self that we know so well is also an illusion. We are surprised when we hear that our own minds have this seemingly magical power of creating a self. Yet sages throughout history have reported that our sense of being a separate, self-contained self is not ultimately valid. Our minds manufacture a self with individual likes and dislikes, particular views, a fund of information, all that makes us the apparent individual we think we are.


An illusory world

The truth is that at bottom we are a field of pure consciousness. Our varied experience and ordinary perception colors this basically colorless consciousness. Our conditioned minds lead us to believe that our sense experience and the experience of our thoughts and emotions happen to a consistent and steady self.  But introspection does not capture that constant, independent self.  We can experience only the flux of changing thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Our so-called personality is part of the phantasmagoria in which we live. We cannot nail down an abiding self in the flow.

Read more: Living in The Eternal

The Universality of the Movement

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

There is abroad in the world a Force which is akin to the Sun. In silent places, far from the rushing torrents of worldly life, it works its silent magic, unperceived. Yet in the crowded marketplaces of men its message can also be heard, its grip and password recognized, if you but search for them. It works for Good; for Right, for Truth. Beginning - it has none, nor can it ever have an end, for it is a living, dynamic Energy, pulsating in and through the spiritual atmosphere of the Earth itself.

This Mystic Force, which flows, to a greater or lesser extent, through every selfless man or woman who is definitely working for the spiritual advancement of mankind, manifests itself in the world as a ceaseless drive, a never-ending urge towards higher knowledge, an impulse towards ethical regeneration, character achievement, spiritual illumination and inner conquest. Embodied in men and women of a mystical trend of mind, of universal objectives, and of deep-seated search for Realities, this drive or urge is the Theosophical Movement, irrespective of age, civilization, or outward form through which it may operate.

Read more: The Universality of the Movement

NAGARJUNA'S PHILOSOPHY as presented in THE MAHA-PRAJNAPARAMITA-SASTRA

Although the fragments underneath would fit very well into our category QUOTATIONS, I thought that they would also go very well into the category THEOSOPHY since they transmit ideas which are so typically linked with Theosophical thought. 

Jan Nicolaas Kind – editor

[Small fragments, sent by Ali Ritsema, from Nagarjuna’s Philosophy as Presented in the Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (a commentary on the Prajnaparamita-sutras* traditionally attributed to Nagarjuna†), by K. Venkata Ramanan (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, 1998; originally published Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle, 1966), from chapter 5, “Knowledge as the Principle of Comprehension,” section 1, “The Middle Way: The Non-exclusive Way,” p. 129:]

From clinging to things there arise disputes; but if there is no clinging, what dispute will there be? He who understands that all dristis, clinging or non-clinging, are in truth of the same nature, has already become free from all these. (61a)

The wayfarer that can understand this does not seize, does not cling to anything, does not imagine that this alone is true (and not that). He does not quarrel with anyone. He can thus enjoy the flavour of the nectar of the Buddha’s doctrine. Those teachings are wrong which are not of this nature (i.e., non-contentious and accommodative). If one does not accommodate other doctrines, does not know them, does not accept them, he indeed is ignorant. Thus, then, all those who quarrel and contend are really devoid of wisdom. Why? Because every one of them refuses to accommodate the views of others. That is to say, there are those who say that what they themselves speak is the highest, the real, the pure truth; that the doctrines of others are words, false and impure. (61a)

Thus every one of these contending teachers clings to his own standpoint and does not accommodate the view of others. “This alone is right all else is wrong”, he says. If one accepts one’s own doctrines, honours and cultivates one’s own doctrines and does not accommodate and honour others’ doctrines, and just picks up faults in them, and if this kind of conduct is the pure conduct, fetching the highest good, then there is none whose conduct is impure.” Why? Because everyone accepts his own doctrine. (61b)

p. 131:

In the dharma of the Buddha one abandons all passions, all wrong views, all pride of self; one puts an end to all (these) and does not cling (to anything). (63c)

Referring to the Sutra on the Raft, the Sastra says that the Buddha has taught there that one has to abandon one’s clinging even to good things, how much more to bad ones! He does not encourage any fond notion even in regard to the prajnaparamita or any learning on it or clinging to it. How much less should one cling to other things!  

The Sastra proceeds:

The intention of the Buddha is this: My disciples (must be) free from passion for Dharma, free from attachment to dharma, free from partisanship. What they seek is only the freedom from (passion and) suffering; they do not quarrel about the (diverse) natures of things. (63c)

In the Arthavargiya Sutra Makandika puts a difficulty before the Buddha:

(It may be that) in the case of rigidly fixing (and holding on to) things, there directly arise all sorts of (wrong) notions. But if all is abandoned, the internal as well as the external, how can enlightenment (Bodhi) be realized at all? (63c)

The questioner commits the mistake of imagining that the determinate in itself leads to clinging, and that the indeterminate nature (sunyata) of things means a literal abandoning of them. These are only different phases of the error of clinging, the error of imputing the limitations in our approach to the nature of things themselves. If the determinate in itself leads one to clinging, then, certainly, there is no way of realizing the bodhi; then, it would follow that to abandon clinging would be to abandon the determinate itself, and the ‘indeterminate’ would mean a total denial of the determinate. These are the wrong notions that arise from the initial mistake of imagining that the determinate is in its very nature such as to lead one to clinging. But this is a view which leads one to self-contradiction at every step. For how can one speak and convey his meaning through specific concepts and yet say that the determinate leads one by its very nature to clinging? The Buddha’s answer amounts to saying that what is to be abandoned is not the determinate itself, but one’s clinging to it. One can realize freedom by abandoning the false sense of self, which is the root of all clinging:

Bodhi is not realized by seeing or hearing or understanding, nor is it realized by the (mere) observance of morals; nor is it realized by abandoning hearing and seeing and it is (definitely) not realized by giving up morals.

Thus what one should abandon is disputation as well as the (false) notion of “I” and “mine”; one should not cling to the diverse natures of things. It is in this way that bodhi can be realized. (63c)

*Prajnaparamita is the “Perfection of Wisdom."

†Nagarjuna (ca. 150–250 CE) was an important Buddhist teacher and philosopher. Along with his disciple Aryadeva, he is credited with founding the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhism. Nagarjuna is credited with developing the philosophy of the Prajnaparamita Sutras — even, in some sources, with having (re)revealed these scriptures in the world, having recovered them from the realm of the nagas (snake/dragon spirits) — and is also sometimes associated with the Buddhist university of Nalanda.

 

 

Marijuana, the Obligatory Pilgrimage, and the Woodstock Generation

Sally and James Colbert –USA


Woodstock ’69

A Theosophical Perspective

As this article was being prepared, so much is going on in the world related to marijuana we felt compelled to take note. The Attorney General of the United States is being held in contempt of Congress related to guns shipped to Mexico in the Marijuana War with the Cartels. Recently there was a $41 million dollar marijuana drug bust in a field 10 miles from the writers’ home. Mexico now has a new President who states his government is now going to deemphasize drug and arms sales as this is something where the United States is the responsible party. The killings involving the marijuana plant are now coming into San Diego.

Read more: Marijuana, the Obligatory Pilgrimage, and the Woodstock Generation

Emanation and Fohat as the basis for the Electric Universe – Part two

Joop Smits – The Netherlands

[Joop Smits (1955) graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) in 1978. From an early age he had the inner conviction that science, philosophy and religion can be brought in harmony with each other. He became a student of Theosophy in 1985. During the last 15 years he has given lectures on Theosophy. At present he is Chairman of the Science Committee of International Theosophy Conferences. On August 13th Joop gave a presentation on the concurrence of science and spirituality at the 2011 International Theosophy Conference at Julian, California. You can find the contents of this presentation in the following article].

The first part of this article was published in the previous issue of Theosophy Forward. In this first part the Theosophical concept of Emanation and Fohat and the scientific concept of the “Electric Universe” were explained.

Read more: Emanation and Fohat as the basis for the Electric Universe – Part two

The Anxieties of a Seeker

[This article appeared in the June 2012 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this magazine follow this link:
http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html]

WHO is a seeker? What does he seek? Why does he seek? These are three inter-related questions. There are seekers and seekers. Not all are seeking knowledge; not all are seeking God; not all are seeking lasting happiness. It all depends upon “why” or what it is that sets them searching. A person suffering from a fatal disease or a huge financial loss, or strained relationship is seeking relief from pain. In case the one suffering from an incurable disease finds the cure or relief in one of the alternative therapies, he may seek to learn and use the same for others. Such a person, while he/she was in the
process of finding the solution, briefly turns to books, institutions, teachers and different philosophies.

Such a person may be temporarily interested in Karma and Rebirth, in God and prayer, but once the disease is cured, the interest may fizzle out, and the search may come to an end. The same holds true of others who are afflicted. Their concern is narrow and so the search is temporary. After a while, such a “seeker” begins to drift away from the system which provided the solution, or he might maintain a superficial connection—just in case, there might be need in the future! But sometimes pain and suffering may give birth to a “seeker” whose search goes beyond the immediate concern of relieving the pain. He wants to learn the cause and cure of sorrow. But, even then he may not be interested in going too far in his search. He asks questions, and studies in some depth the doctrines of Karma and Rebirth, seeks to learn meditation technique, such that suffering could be kept at bay. Then there are seekers who never cease seeking,because they never commit themselves to a single system of thought.

Read more: The Anxieties of a Seeker

Life after Life

Marie Harkness – Northern Ireland

“Be brave for Truth and Brotherhood, and We shall be with you throughout the ages”
(Jubilee)

Today many people believe they live only once on this earth and that when they die, a tally is taken of their good and bad deeds meriting reward or punishment. All who think deeply about life, who have seen for themselves numerous examples of exceptional childhood talent, must wonder why life bestows gifts on one person and not on another. Why some people have an aptitude for certain subjects, have a certain type of brain, can take life and whatever life throws at them in their stride and others cannot. Why some are born perfect, others with terrible afflictions. After some serious thinking, we `come to realise that the only answer to this is…. that existence is a long, long journey to perfection, encompassing many lives. We realise that the gifts and skills that some people possess have been acquired by hard graft in former existences. Those possessing a certain detachment, wisdom and compassion have not suddenly acquired these virtues, but have through experience in past lives, evolved to their present state, an on-going process. We realise that in each lifetime we accumulate greater mental power, discrimination and coping skills and in time true spirituality.  The Master M. has written:

“The pathway through earth-life leads through many conflicts and trials, but he who does naught to conquer them can expect no triumph’.”

Read more: Life after Life

A Few Queries

H. P. Blavatsky

[from a letter to Lucifer 4.22 (June 1889): 347-8, with notes by HPB; reprinted in Collected Writings 11:300-1]


H. P. Blavatsky

As you kindly invite questions relating to Theosophy, I make free to put forward some doubts, which I should feel very thankful if you would solve.

How are the nine actually known planets to be reconciled with the seven of Theosophy?*

How may it be possible for anyone who has no independent means to subsist upon to enter upon Chelaship? It seems as if the very first indispensable rule laid down in the April number of Lucifer, would render it absolutely impossible for any person, who has to earn his bread in any way, save perhaps that of writing books, to mount even the first steps of the ladder. Or does it mean, perchance, that some other human being should always sacrifice himself, should toil and labour many years of his life in order to facilitate the sublime aspirings to Adeptship—of another? One would think, in that case, that the humbler brother or sister (humanly, not kindredly speaking) was on the righter track to perfection according to the precepts of Theosophy.

Read more: A Few Queries

Theosophical Ecology

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

The basic propositions and principles of the Esoteric Philosophy are outlined without ambiguity in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, her own Superiors in the occult hierarchy, and a few of their early disciples. It is to the dissemination of these basic thoughts and teachings that the life and work of the Founders was primarily devoted. Organizational details were merely the unavoidable framework required for the harmonious and efficient task of making the teachings known to an ever-increasing number of people throughout the world.

Careful examination of the present day Theosophical climate and the publications issued by existing Theosophical Organizations, disclose, even to a casual observer who examines the situation without prejudice or vested interests to defend, that a great variety of extraneous ideas and totally unrelated subjects have infiltrated the Theosophical philosophy during the twentieth century, with dire effects and regrettable results.

Read more: Theosophical Ecology

The Voice of the Silence 4 (Verses 51-79)

John Algeo – USA

Following the ten verses on the ladder of the mystic sounds, the next verses take up the theme of dying, being slain, or being cleansed and merging. It is important to keep in mind that the language is metaphorical and to look for the meaning beneath the symbol: “[51] Before that path is entered, thou must destroy thy lunar body,29 cleanse thy mind-body30 and make clean thy heart. [52] Eternal life’s pure waters, clear and crystal, with the monsoon tempest’s muddy torrents cannot mingle. [53] Heaven’s dew-drop glittering in the morn’s first sunbeam within the bosom of the lotus, when dropped on earth, becomes a piece of clay; behold, the pearl is now a speck of mire. [54] Strive with thy thoughts unclean before they overpower thee. Use them as they will thee, for if thou sparest them and they take root and grow, know well, these thoughts will overpower and kill thee. Beware, disciple, suffer not, e’en though it be their shadow, to approach. For it will grow, increase in size and power, and then this thing of darkness will absorb thy being before thou hast well realized the black foul monster’s presence.”

The “lunar body” of verse 51 is reminiscent of the silver cymbal of verse 43, which also had lunar associations, both representing one of the seven human principles. Note 29 to this verse introduces an interesting link between principles, involving some terminological confusion between early and later Theosophical literature: “The astral form produced by the Kamic principle, the kama-rupa or body of desire.” Blavatsky generally used “astral” to refer to the linga sharira or what was later called the “etheric double.” However, she also used the term more generally and indefinitely to refer to ethereal or less dense vehicles of consciousness. Here she uses it specifically for the emotional body, a usage adopted by second generation and later Theosophists. There is also, however, a link between all the lower principles, from the physical body through the “lower” mind, which collectively form the personality. As a whole they contrast with the “higher” mind or buddhi-manas, in this verse called “mind-body” and also called the “causal body,” which is the individual reincarnating entity: Note 30: “Manasa-rupa. The first [lunar body] refers to the astral or personal self; the second [mind-body] to the individuality or the reincarnating Ego whose consciousness on our plane or the lower manas has to be paralyzed.”

Read more: The Voice of the Silence 4 (Verses 51-79)

The Theosophical Labyrinth

John Algeo – USA

The Ancient Wisdom comes to us by many channels: religious scripture, philosophical dissertations, scientific experiments, fairy tales, music, painting, dance, mandalas, poetry, and labyrinths. A labyrinth is a winding path in a complex pattern. The word “labyrinth” comes from Greek, but is probably based on a non-Greek word, perhaps the term labrys from the Lydian language of Asia Minor, a term for a double-headed ax. The latter was a symbol of royalty and of divinity in the ancient Near East, and is symbolically appropriate because the labyrinth has two aspects. It cuts, as it were, two ways, being a road both inward and outward. In English labyrinths have also been called by such curious names as “Troy Town,” the “Walls of Troy,” “Fair Rosamund’s Bower,” “St. Julian’s Bower,” and “Jerusalem” from their use or from legends associated with them.

Labyrinths are of two main types. One consists of a single pathway that winds about, leading in and out from the circumference toward the center and back again until it finally arrives at its end, the center of the labyrinth. The technical term for such a pattern is “unicursal labyrinth” or, as a popular name, a “meander.” The word “meander” is also from Greek, originally the name for a river in Asia Minor whose bed wound back and forth across the land until it came to the sea. From the pattern of that river bed, the term “meander” was applied to any pattern of movement in a winding and intricate way. Since, in walking a unicursal labyrinth, one is in fact meandering through it, the term is appropriate.

Read more: The Theosophical Labyrinth

Fate and Free Will: A Theosophical Speculation

John Algeo – USA

An article on “Neurons v Free Will” in the Economist magazine (402, no. 8772  [Feb. 18-24, 2012]: 6-7) considers how the opposition of fate and free will has been treated over many centuries right up to present-day scientific studies of the working of the brain. The ancient Greeks talked about “Ananke, the primeval force of necessity, and her children, the Fates, who steered human lives.” Medieval Christian theologians worried about the inconsistency of human freedom with the omniscience of God, whose knowledge of what is and is to be allows no room for optional changes by limited human beings. The scientific revolution of the seventeenth century held that the natural law of cause-and-effect could brook no exceptions and thus excluded the possibility of unpredictable changes exercised by human free will. Even the Theosophical view of karma (not mentioned in the article) may seem to create a conflict with the individual’s free will: if each of our actions has a karmic cause in the past and a future karmic consequence, where is free will in that chain of karmic necessity?

Read more: Fate and Free Will: A Theosophical Speculation

The Supreme Self of the Bhagavad Gita

Dara Eklund – USA

It is gratifying to find, even in recent translations of the Gita a comprehension of the multifaceted Self of Chapter Six and elsewhere. A worthy exemplar of this is Graham M. Schweig's edition [Harper One, 2007]. In his sparse word by word translation he explains a dual usage of the term “self” in footnotes, showing that the “higher self” can mean the Supreme Self, as the divinity dwelling within the individual self, just as our early Theosophical interpreters of the Gita understood this.

Read more: The Supreme Self of the Bhagavad Gita

Suicides and Compassion

Sally and James Colbert – USA

Herbert Hinden, M.D. reported on interviews with four suicidal persons who jumped off six story buildings. By chance these four had lived.  Two of the four stated they had changed their minds on the way down. One wonders of the thousands that have jumped off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, how many of these changed their mind on the way down?

It is estimated that a million people each year worldwide commit suicide. Every culture, every country and every one of us has most probably encountered some experience with this act. There is a report that with each suicide there are at least six other persons directly affected. It is rare that a suicidal act only involves the person doing it.  

It is said we cannot understand the awful terrifying loss to our being unless we have experienced it ourselves. One of the authors has had to go through these effects almost too personal to share. The other author most likely lived through some of this when starting his private practice as a clinical psychologist. When first opening his office, he received the first call for an appointment. It was a family who stated they wanted to meet with a psychologist in order to help their communication. We met for an hour and we seemed to make some progress.  It ended with an agreement to meet the following week. Eight hours later a call was made from this same family saying their oldest son had hung himself to death. Not knowing really what to do, we immediately traveled to their home and we all held each other for a time. Later at the Catholic funeral we sat with the family.The people filed past the open casket to pay their respects.  Again, we held each other with very few words. The impotence, helplessness, guilt and a kind of absurd futility of this senseless act swept through every part of our being.

Read more: Suicides and Compassion

Emanation and Fohat as the basis for the Electric Universe – Part one

Joop Smits – The Netherlands

[Joop Smits (1955) graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) in 1978. From an early age he had the inner conviction that science, philosophy and religion can be brought in harmony with each other. He became a student of Theosophy in 1985. During the last 15 years he has given lectures on Theosophy. At present he is Chairman of the Science Committee of International Theosophy Conferences. On August 13th Joop gave a presentation on the concurrence of science and spirituality at the 2011 International Theosophy Conference at Julian, California. You can find the contents of this presentation in the following article].

1. Introduction
The subject of this article is: Emanation and Fohat as the basis for the Electric Universe.
In order to identify the concurrence of science and spirituality, the subject will be approached by:
- first discussing the Theosophical teachings on Emanation and Fohat;
- and subsequently concepts in modern science will be discussed which are in line with those Theosophical teachings.
Why talk about Emanation and Fohat? Because the archaic doctrine of Emanation provides a universal key for understanding the process of re-embodiment at cosmic, terrestrial and human level and for understanding how every living being exists within the sphere of a higher being. E.g. how man lives in the sphere of the Earth or Sun and how the cells of our body live in the human sphere. This is, of course, based on the Theosophical standpoint of the Living Universe or Cosmos:
- the universe considered as embodied consciousness and
- ordered as a Hierarchy of different levels of consciousness, in line with the original Greek meaning of the word “Cosmos,” as “order or arrangement.”

Read more: Emanation and Fohat as the basis for the Electric Universe – Part one

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