The Travler

“The Traveler

It was on an evening, I like to think, when there was nothing at all but the illimitable loneness of the sea, and from the rim of it, and on into infinity, the rose-flame of the sky.

He was going into the far country, never to return, and his words drifted away with pale leaves and delicate blossoms over the star-clear waters:

Brightest of all the bright

Blossoms along the sea,

Cradled in song and light,

Bloom in the soul of me!

After the sunset-gleam,

Over the twilight-dew,

Gather me, dream by dream,

Into the dream of you.

There bad been a time, he remembered, in his childhood, when the flowers that he saw were more than flowers and the songs that he heard were more than songs. The faces of peole glowed with a strange, beau-.-tiful light: there was hope in them and a rememberance of something in-effable. But as the years passed, dark veils fell before his eyes. The flowers lost their bright enchantment, becoming flowers, the songs songs. The light in human faces was gone. Towered in gloom, a different world appeared: sunlessness and starlessness brooded over the cities and the mountains and the sea. Only in memory, and slowly retreating, wasthe golden world with its luminous flowers and living songs and faces that were not faces at all, but living souls.

The long music of the waters, whispering through the avenues of the~ waves, heard him and listened; and then, strand upon beautiful strand, climbed slowly upward through the ewel-mist of the stars.

And if it was the wind that made words, speaking to him, he did not know. And if it was the loneness of the sea, or the sky above it that made words, speaking to him, he did not know. But he heard, somewhere in the world, near him or afar he was never able to tell, words spoken not in time, but in the vastness and quietness of eternity. And hearing hem, he thought of waving flowers in the morning, flowers of pale and delicate flame that reached upward to heaven, and he thought of songs hat rose like sunlight on swift wings, pouring melody over the world, and he thought of human faces luminous v’ith beauty and joy.

The whole world, with its mountains and seas, and the sky above it, and him, became – and he knew that it had always been so – a divine oneness of peace. Even the words of eternity were of him, spoken by him, through the winds or the sky or the waters he was never to know. But wherever flowers were, or songs, there was he. And wherever human hearts beat there he was also.

It was on an evening, I like to think, when there was nothing at alJ~ but the illimitable loneness of the sea, and from the rim of it, and on into infiPity, the rose-flame of the sky.”

Cardinal C. LeGros

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What is the Theosophical Society?

H. P. Blavatsky was the founder of modern Theosophy and the Theosophical Society:

Theosophy defines itself as one of the major modern expressions of the Ageless Wisdom teachings. The Theosophical Society began in 1875 and is among a hand full of modern schools of thought that gave birth to the “New Age” with its associated ideas of brotherhood, karma and rebirth, and a path of spiritual enlightenment that may be followed independently of religious affiliation. It includes the concept of God and immortality of the soul, and teachings about the state of consciousness following death. Theosophy recognizes a brotherhood of spiritual masters that, mostly behind the scenes, have sought to guide and teach humanity down the ages. For more on this concept, see: Spiritual Hierarchy–Its Nature and Relation to History and the Cultural Evolution of Humanity

Theosophy is also one of the main influences responsible for modern evolution of Eastern thought and its impact on the West. For more background on that, see Theosophy Academic Papers.

Theosophical lodges or study groups for Theosophy can be found in most major cities in the United States and in many other cities around the world. Today, the Theosophical Society is “…an international organization with members in some 70 countries of the world and local groups in about 90 locations in the United States.” Theosophical Society in America

These are its most active areas in the United States.

The foundation of the Theosophical teachings can be found in The Theosophical Quarterly, Volumes 18-19 which states.

“The principal aim and object of this Society is, To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.

The subsidiary objects are:

  • The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences demonstration of the importance of such study
  • The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man.”

Most people who have heard of Theosophy are unaware of the historical impact and its influence on society, see for instance: Famous people in the Theosophical Society

and Theosophy Influence – Wikipedia

See also: The Theosophical Society in America: An Illustrated History:

To get a broader sense of what Theosophy is, read this article: Theosophy – Theosopedia

So, as suggested above, though most are unaware of it, Theosophy is woven into many aspects of modern society including not only the religious and philosophic but the cultural and artistic in many of its dimensions. To gain an impression of this read through this list of famous people who were members of the Theosophical Society and were also noted writers, architects, scientists, inventors, psychologists, painters, musicians, actors, politicians, feminists, and religious figures, etc: Famous people in the Theosophical Society

.

The list is partial, one of many omissions being David Bohm:

“Many theosophists will know of Bohm as a close associate of Krishnamurti, and also as a unique philosopher. However his primary role was as a quantum physicist.” Bohms Quantum Physics…Theosophical Society

A good historical perspective can be found here:

Course on “The Theosophical Society”… Religious Studies, University of Vienna, Summer semester 2019]

Though sometimes dismissed as another religion or amalgam of them, it is far more than that. Theosophy defines itself, not as a religion, but as the underlying principles from which the best aspects of all religions derive. So it is not religion in a formal sense but the essence of them. One Theosophical work delves into this in exploring The Essential Unity of all Religions

.

Broadly speaking, there are two different senses of the word “Theosophy.” On the one hand it is the particular body of teaching that derives from the founder of the Theosophical society, H. P. Blavatsky

and her many students who wrote books on the subject. But in the broader sense, Theosophy means the “wisdom of God,” or spiritual wisdom wherever and in whatever form it is found, which includes the best of religions, philosophies, the sciences and all aspects of life that pertain to the cultural evolution of humanity. These, of course, did not arise with H. P. Blavatsky but are part of the wisdom of the ages. In this sense Theosophy is “New Age” philosophy. These two senses of the word are elaborated here: Theosophy: What is It

?

For some of the specifics of Theosophical teaching, see this summary: Theosophy in the Modern World

and also Theosophy in the World Today, and Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy and the Arts in the Modern World

.

The New Age philosophy I reference above is a modern phrase that is close in meaning to what is called the “Ageless Wisdom” and also not far from the meaning of Perennial philosophy

:

“The Ageless Wisdom is called the “Golden Thread” that connects the inner, hidden teachings at the heart of the world’s religions, East and West. It’s often referred to as the “Perennial Philosophy” because it’s been present on earth in some form since the beginning of recorded history.” Ageless Wisdom

.

There is a Wikipedia article on New Age

that contains a paragraph with the following good summary:

“Despite its highly eclectic nature, a number of beliefs commonly found within the New Age have been identified. Theologically

, the New Age typically adopts a belief in a holistic form of divinity which imbues all of the universe, including human beings themselves. There is thus a strong emphasis on the spiritual authority of the self. This is accompanied by a common belief in a wide variety of semi-divine non-human entities, such as angels and masters, with whom humans can communicate, particularly through the form of channeling. Typically viewing human history as being divided into a series of distinct ages, a common New Age belief is that whereas once humanity lived in an age of great technological advancement and spiritual wisdom, it has entered a period of spiritual degeneracy, which will be remedied through the establishment of a coming Age of Aquarius, from which the milieu gets its name. There is also a strong focus on healing, particularly using forms of alternative medicine

, and an emphasis on a “New Age science” which seeks to unite science and spirituality.”

The newest evolution of this movement toward the union of science and spirituality can be seen here:

Who’s Who in Open Science

Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science

Theosophy is often attacked from two opposite directions— materialistic science and Christian theology. While advocating an open minded scientific point of view, Theosophy is critical of strictly materialistic science or scientism and its eclectic approach to religion makes it the subject of attack by orthodox Christian writers.

This passage gives a Theosophical view point on Theology

:

“Theology and Theosophy. Helena P. Blavatsky has a strongly negative view of Christian dogmatic theology, calling it “a corpse without a soul” (IU II:264), the “dogmatic, undemonstrated and undemonstrable theology of our Christian ages” (IU I:36). She deemed that the inner teachings of Christ and the Gospels have been lost sight of by modern theologians. Thus, Blavatsky devoted the entire second volume of her Isis Unveiled on “Theology” to explore comparative theology, and to attempt to demonstrate that underneath the exoteric teachings of popular religions lie the principles of an ageless wisdom, of which theosophy is a but a modern expression. In her introduction to the work, she states that “we must show our false theologies in their naked deformity, and distinguish between divine religion and human dogmas. Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny, whether of SCIENCE or THEOLOGY.”

In her preface to the second volume, she wrote:

An analysis of religious beliefs in general, this volume is in particular directed against theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to man’s faith in his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint.”

Theosophy’s relation to science can be understood in connection with the above mentioned Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science

with which Theosophy would fully agree.

There is also a more recent incarnation and evolution of Theosophy in the broader sense of the word for which see Alice Bailey (Books online

Someone asked,”Is everything in heaven 100% perfect’ or are there still flaws? I feel perfection would make us go insane.”

Your intuition is correct. There is no static perfection in heaven or for that matter on Earth. Perfection is a concept, something projected by humans onto things. Heaven is not composed of things in the material sense— it is a state of consciousness that transcends things and concepts. The soul’s participation in heaven is as a creator. Heaven is dynamic and infinite in its scope and variety. Heaven is the source of all and out of it is born all the endless universes that ever were, are or will be.

worlds

Quotations from “How to Like People”

Collected quotatoins from the book “How to Like People” by Robert Jackson:

One thing we need to remember always is that we affect people so much by what we see in them that we almost make them what they are.  We open doors for them or close them.

Look beneath the surface and invite the real man to speak – and invite again, and again.  He’ll come out.  This is liking people, seeing them instead of their shells.  

We forget that we are always free to like people.  They can’t stop us. Nothing can.

So!  With real talk, action, laughter, learning, and love you are fearless.  Those things are the opposites of fear.  They cast it out.  They are the things a fearless man does.  They are the things a man does to grow more fearless.  

He does not attack, so defenses are not built against him.  He does not push, so he is not resisted.  He cannot be pushed, so he is willing to move.  He invites, he does not demand, and his invitation is accepted.  He condemns not, so he is not feared. He fears not, so he is not attacked.  He frees, and the freedom is felt.  He talks, and he is talked to.  

Without a project going…he loses touch with his fellows…He can’t enjoy people the way a man with a project can.  Without something a-building a man’s talk means little.  

Though we laugh about it, know it wasn’t serious at all, still we know that anyone who praises us has caught a glimpse of the real us.  He has invited us to be ourselves.  Don’t wait until compliments are one hundred percent deserved.  Don’t wait at all.  Some judgement and lots of good will, and you can move right in and build people up.  

Aim at vast love and understanding, but practice for it by liking the people around you.  

Real talk is talk from what a man is, not from what he thinks might sound all right.  It is talk about what he sees as good, what interests him…It speaks to the depth, intelligence, humanity, and goodwill of others in spite of their surface opinions.  

Don’t resent the indifferent ones.  A cold look is a lonely look.  

You can’t have both shyness and friendliness.  

Good looks are mental…No way out of looking like our thoughts except to think something else.  

…forget yourself and look at other people.  See them as good-looking, interesting.  Appreciate them, encourage them, like them, without any bother about judging them.  

Do you get a thing of life, a spark of communication between you and others?  Or do you say the same old things, the safe and cautious things?  No spark, no life?  Too bad.

The Paranormal, Skepticism, and Debunkers–collected links

Debunking the Arguments of PseudoSkeptics and Paranormal Debunkers

Skeptics or Pseudoskeptics? » Skeptical About Skeptics

The problem with Western science

Stop Using the Word Pseudoscience

100 Scientific Papers Offering Evidence for Psi Phenomena & Effects

IONS Publications

The Other Side of Light

Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics?

We know from surveys that 80% of mainstream scientists dismiss psi and the paranormal. But nobody seems to ask how do engineers feel about it?

What is the true nature of our “Matrix” that disguises reality?

In the movie, the matrix is the illusion, and the material world outside of it the reality. But in truth, while the “matrix” is relatively illusory, it is not the material world that is real but the spiritual world that is its higher correspondence. The physical world is Maya:

Maya (devanāgarī: माया māyā) is a Sanskrit word that in Indian religions has multiple meanings. Usually translated as “illusion” (from mā “not” and yā “this”), it points out the fact that we do not experience the reality but only a false image perceived by our minds, as when one pursues a mirage in the desert or mistakes a rope for a snake.

It is also regarded as “the cosmic power which renders phenomenal existence and the perceptions thereof possible.”[1] Thus, in early Vedic mythology, maya was the power with which the gods created and maintained the physical universe.

Maya – Theosophy Wiki

Awakening to the truth that the material world is Maya or relatively illusory is a spiritual awakening which is the path of the hero. Only by comparison with the experience of spiritual reality are we able to see the illusion. In The Matrix as the Hero’s Journey, we read:

“The hero’s journey” is a phrase coined by Joseph Campbell to describe the underlying monomyth that links stories from every part of the world and every epoch in human history. This story emerges again and again because it is the fundamental human story written in symbolic language, laying out the journey we all must take from ignorance to knowledge. It tells the story of our own growth and development into fully realized individuals. The hero separates from the reality we share, is awakened to greater truths, and then returns to share the knowledge and power gained. The most effective contemporary expression of this archetypal myth is the 1999 film The Matrix, in which Thomas Anderson, aka Neo, is separated from the reality he has always known, awakens to the truth of his existence, masters the power that comes with that knowledge, and then vows to free others. Neo’s story is our story writ large. It reminds us, just as mystics from every age have done, that we are all asleep, that we must wake up to the truth, that our work is to help others.

At The Matrix of Matter we find:

Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Edwin Schrodinger, the originators of Quantum Mechanics, all believed in a single universal consciousness.

In the words of Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, “I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. Mind is the Matrix of Matter.”

Perceptions and Being–Light of Worlds

“There! Ghost of light, arresting glimmer on the periphery of vision… Is that a magic mirror, a window, a door? If mirror, it does not reflect earth-light. If a window it might be a sacred landscape, a memory of ancient worlds or worlds not yet born.

It is close now, and clearly an opening door. I see through to a world, and within and beyond that another and another–bright worlds of the past and worlds of the future, infinite vistas of painful beauty. They sweep around and through me and I go to them. Their flow is joyous, commanding, where each paints the fiery core of things. And now a chorus of shining, ascending, voices. They fill me with open spaces; they engulf and overwhelm; I am with them, of them… I love and become through them.”

Is it true that the moon affects humans in a psychological way?

 

Yes, it does see this article, Lunar correlates of normal, abnormal and anomalous human behavior by Dr. Dean Radin where the abstract states:

Three types of relationships were explored: Correlation with total lunar cycle; mean differences bctwccn thc waning and waxing lunar cycles; and sudden changes on the day of thc full moon. Besides obtaining expected correlations with some geophysical variables, statistically significant relationships were also observed with some behavioral variables, mutual fund price residuals and state lottery payout percentages. Bivariate spectral analyses confirmed the presence of 29.5 day cycles in the crisis calls, abnormal. financial and lottery payout behavior. Variables showing sudden changes on the day Of the full moon included crisis calls, suicide, and psychiatric admission rates. Variables showing significant differences between the waning and waxing moon included homicide and crisis calls. We conclude that this dataset supports popular beliefs about interrelationships of lunar phase and human behavior.

Lunar correlates of normal, abnormal and anomalous human behavior

Someone asked, “Does anyone truly feel happy? Or is it always a fleeting emotion for people?”

“Many persons have a wrong idea about what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” (Helen Keller)

“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.” (Leo Tolstoy)

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. “ (Albert Schweitzer)

See my related Quora answers:

Why do I feel so happy for no reason at all?

Can true happiness ever be attained from things outside yourself?

Are you happy with your current life situation?

image by the author

Someone asked, “According to the Advaita school in Hinduism, the entire universe is not separate from God, and the entire world is an illusion. If we are God, then why did we create this illusion?”

The spiritual is synonymous with knowledge in the higher sense. Ignorance or amnesia is the characteristic of the relatively physical world, the world as it exists when relatively cut off from and apart from the spiritual. The material world including our external personalities, thoughts, emotions etc. are to some degree apart from the spiritual, that is they are other than pure Divinity. Yet in evolution we move from separation toward unity and Divinity expresses increasingly through the form, through the external personality.

If there were no ignorance, no amnesia, there would be only Reality, Divinity, and so no relativity, time or evolution. With the manifestation of the physical universe relativity comes into being and obscuration and ignorance come into being. The light of pure Reality is obstructed by the material world and it is the relationship between the spiritual and the material that creates evolution and the unfoldment of things in time. In the purely spiritual, in the timeless, above and beyond all forms and manifestations there would be only absolute Reality and knowledge. But in time and in evolution in the material world, the manifested world, there there is always some measure of amnesia.

We value revelation but revelation unfolds in time and is only possible because of relativity and evolution, that is, of the fact of the existence of something other than pure absolute Reality or Deity. So we have separation, both spirit and matter, male and female, and all manner of polarities. While from a higher standpoint there is only One, only Unity, yet from the view within the relatively illusory world there is the many, there is all that is other than the one.

The One manifests as a ray of Beauty. Beauty arises with manifestation, with separation and reunification. In austere beauty, the awakening and defining moment—Light falls from the apex of spirit and rises from the depths. The voice of God kills and resurrects—probably only in that nonverbal experience is the deeper answer to the question to be found.

Without temporary separation and relativity, there would be no kiss:

Someone asked, “What decides a soul’s eligibility to enter into heaven: a conscious entity, a committee of conscious entities, or predetermined criteria?”

Someone asks, “What is the end goal of reincarnation? After we have lived, learned, experienced everything we wanted to. What then? It all seems, not pointless, but rather mundane. At least that’s how I’ve always felt.”

I will share some ideas, partly from my own thoughts and experiences, and partly from the wisdom traditions.

To begin with, it will help to understand what “learning” is not. I think our human concept of “goals” and learning are vague analogues of the real meaning and do not actually capture the essence of it. Learning is not simply the gains from the kind of labor we experienced in school and it is not simply learning to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It has little or no correspondence with what Mom and Dad taught us or what we read in most books. Spiritual learning is not verbal. When we are asleep to the real meaning of what we encounter then we assign conventional and mundane meanings to spiritual terms and teachings and so miss reality.

What then is learning in the spiritual sense of the word? It has been defined as the expansion of consciousness. But any word or phrase that one may use to describe or define it will fall short of the reality. The limited meaning that most have for goals and learning, together with the sense of the mundane are all limitations within our own consciousness and these words do not actually point, for most, to the inner meaning. I’ve suggested the new word “consciousness” but the real meaning of that will also have to be learned by direct personal experience. We must stay open to that possibility.

I will say that consciousness is bound up with the true meaning of love, joy, and life— it is a vast thing of infinite dimensions. It is not just learning as we may have experienced it thus far in this tiny slice of life–a partial life and part of the chain that stretches back into the remote past and forward into the distant future embracing all the undreamed of possibilities of that. And it is not even just learning within an earthly body on this planet, rather it is cosmic and has about it as many facets as are stars in the depths of space—so “learning” is not limited to planet Earth at all– that is just the beginning.

And beyond that, it is not just learning–it is also doing, which is to say the power to create and the power to be and become vastly more than can now be imagined by anyone on the planet. I will say that love is the key and that by engaging in creative work on behalf of humanity, from the motive of love, will come some illumination to us as to the nature and meaning of the word “consciousness.”

The spiritual goal of our life and all lives is written in space as a dynamic Divine archetype which is gradually accessible to our consciousness as we grow and unfold the powers and potentials of divinity within us. So the goal in a spiritual sense is not a limited thing. It is unlimited. It is infinite and so there is no final ending point where attainment is absolutely complete and so the story ends. The goal is not a matter of learning everything that you wanted to. It is a vastly expanded sense of learning who and what you are which means a transformation of the sense of identity and so what you “want.” It is the discovery of infinity both within yourself and within the universe. Think large and realize that even this universe is but one of a chain of universes that stretch into the remote past and on into the infinite future.

Each of us can, by virtue of what is within us, say with Divinity:

“And within me, deep and deep, Universes wake and sleep.” Kenneth Morris

Deep star field from NASA

Love

On the lower psychological level there are illusions of love that are not actually love but various forms of selfishness and desire.

On the higher psychological and spiritual levels love is the opposite of Illusion. It is the fundamental reality of higher consciousness. Love is the energy of the Soul.

The heart center, adapted from The Chakras by C. W. Leadbeater.

“Love is the tuning fork of life. It gives the keynote to harmony in every situation.” Charles Newcomb

“Love is not dependency, idolization, sentimentality, craving, or physical attraction…” Vernon Howard

Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one ‘object’ of love…Because one does not see that love is an activity, a power of the soul, one believes that all that is necessary is to find is the right object. Erich Fromm

“…the particular loved one is really only a window through which that Immortal Beloved is glimpsed…Love is therefore in its essential nature and in the last analysis, the worship of the divine through the human.” Old Lamps For New, C. Bragdon

Love is not a companion come to dwell with thee in thy narrow house of personal separateness; he is a messenger come to lead thee from that narrow prison out into the wide, free places of the earth, and if thou wilt not be led by him, then will he go on and leave thee, as a messenger who may not tarry. Helen Bourchier

“Love is not making the object of the love feel comfortable superficially. Love is far-seeing wisdom which seeks to keep alive in the object of that love those sensitivities which will guarantee safe progress.” Alice Bailey

“ Love is not soft and sentimental but fiery and wise.” Anonymous

“Love is not blind; it is an extra eye, which shows us what is most worthy of regard.”
J. Barrie

“Life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon… and a horizon is nothing, save the limit of our sight.” Carly Simon

“The true way to love is to reflect and meditate deeply and constantly upon the significance and meaning of love, its origin, its expression through the soul, its qualities, goals and objectives.” Alice Bailey

“He who sees without loving is only straining his eyes in the darkness.” Maeterlinck

“Love is a miraculous baptism of consciousness, a luminous aspect of awareness and unshadowed understanding.” Wesley La Violette

Behind the orient darkness of thine eyes,
The eyes of God interrogate my soul
With whelming love.
The luminous waves that roll
Over thy body are His dream.
It lies On thee as the moon-glamour on the skies;
And all around — the yearning aureole
Of His effulgent being — broods the whole Rapt universe, that our love magnifies.”

O thou, through whom for me Infinity Is manifest!
Bitter and salt, thy tears
Are the heart-water of the passionate spheres,
With all their pain.
I drink them thirstily!
While in thy smile is realized for me
The flaming joys of archangelic years.

The Book of Love, By Elsa Barker

Someone asked, ” Is it possible to pray without ceasing?”

Not while we are so much on the physical plane, but we should strive for that beautiful ideal. And here is the spirit of my prayer:

“I call you to no organisational loyalties, but only to love your fellowmen, be they German, American, Jewish, British, French, Negro or Asiatic. I call you from your dreams of vague beauty, impossible Utopias and wishful thinking to face life as it is today; and then to begin, in the place where you are, to make it better. I call you to the experiment of right human relations, beginning with your own personal relations to your family and friends, and then to the task of educating those you contact so that they also start a similar work. It is the work of attaining right individual relations, right group relations, right intergroup relations, right national relations and right international relations. I call you to the realisation that in this work no one is futile or useless, but that all have a place of practical value. I call you to recognise that goodwill is a dynamic energy which can bring about world changes of a fundamental kind, and that its mode of expression is through the activity of the individual man and woman and through their massed intent. The massed power of goodwill, the dynamic effect of intelligent and active understanding, and the potency of a trained and alive public opinion which desires the greatest good of the greatest number, are beyond belief. This dynamic power has never been employed. It can, today, save the world.”   Externalization of the Hierarchy-Alice Bailey/Djwhal Khul. 1957

Someone asked, “Are there any scientific evidence or theories of the existence of souls and the ability to be reincarnated?”

Current modern conservative science defines itself in materialistic terms and so, by its nature, limits itself to materialist explanations. And it should then be obvious that a science, as currently defined, can not see itself as exploring the soul or spirituality since that is conceived as outside of its territory and outside of the realm of what it considers realistic and knowable. There is a accepted philosophy, usually unconscious, that underlies this definition and that is the world view and there are two separate realms—the so called real world of material things, and the imaginary world of spiritual and psychic. Further, that the physical world is the world of what can be experienced and scientifically known and the spiritual is thought of as an undefined thing that can not be known. Religion itself has helped to propagandize this idea of a sharp division between spirit and matter, between things that can be known and things that can not.

There is an alternate world view that holds that spirit and matter are not two entirely separate things but that spirit and matter are the opposite poles of a single reality or spirit-matter. In this definition, matter is spirit at its lowest point of manifestation, and spirit is matter at its highest. It is the modern evolution of this idea—actually a very ancient one—that is now emerging in connection with a new philosophy of science, a science that puts soul back into psychology. We see this now in the development of parapsychology, and about that see Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science and What are the Noetic Sciences?

In this connection, in the Psychology of Near-Death Experiences and Spirituality – Oxford Handbooks, we find:

Near-death experiences (NDEs) occur in 10%–20% of people who come close to death, and they are similar to mystical experiences occurring in other settings. Their incidence and features are not influenced by prior religious beliefs, although cultural background may affect the interpretation of some of those features. However, NDEs profoundly influence one’s subsequent sense of spirituality, leading to increased compassion, altruism, and sense of purpose in life, and to decreased fear of death, competitiveness, and materialistic interests. They do not necessarily lead to an increased involvement in organized religion but rather tend to foster an internal sense of connection to the divine and to something greater than the self. The mechanism by which NDEs bring about these changes is unclear, but it may be related to their inescapable challenge to the materialistic model of mind-brain identity and the implication that there is a spiritual component to humans that appears, under extreme circumstances, to function independent of the physical body.

References

Death and Parapsychology–Research and Resources

Reincarnation–Parapsychological Research and Articles

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications on Psi Research

Evidences – Reincarnation Research

Persistence of “Past-Life” Memories in Adults Who, in Their Childhood, Claimed Memories of a Past Life

Cases of the Reincarnation Type with Memories from the Intermission Between Lives

Intermission Memories

The Self Does Not Die: Investigations, interpretations, and Implications

Dr. Ken Ring’s Reincarnation and Near-Death Experience Research

Psychology of Near-Death Experiences and Spirituality – Oxford Handbooks

Veridical Near Death Reports: NDEs where there is Objective Evidence for the Reality of the Experience – YouTube

Near Death Experience Research Foundation

Evidence of Reincarnation in Childhood by Dr. Jim Tucker:

Reincarnation Evidence in Scientific Research:

Scientific Evidence for Reincarnation by Dr Ian Stevenson:

Is There Life after Death? Fifty Years of Research at UVA:

TEDx Brussels 2010 – Stuart Hameroff – Do we have a quantum Soul? (Dr. Hameroff’s research for 35 years has involved consciousness – how the pinkish gray meat between our ears produces the richness of experiential awareness. A clinical anesthesiologist, Hameroff has studied how anesthetic gas molecules selectively erase consciousness via delicate quantum effects on protein):

Someone asked, “Could you define consciousness so a Westerner can understand?”

Probably not too well because consciousness is Light and the Sun rises in the East. But being somewhat of both the East and West by nature I would say:Consciousness is the eternal flame that arises from the interaction between spirit and matter. Consciousness in the higher sense is the soul which is a whirlwind of loving fire and a shower of many-colored sparks. Consciousness or soul is portal to higher space and the knowledge of God. It is the indefinable light that holds the stars in place and feeds their life. It is panacea and upliftment. The soul is artist and its beauty is the essence of spirituality. So each moment the awakening soul is destroying limitation and advancing toward higher consciousness, toward Beauty.

Someone asked, “Why do I feel so alone in spiritual path?”

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“A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.” R. W. Emerson

This is not an unusual experience. It is partly because fewer people can be found on the same path as the one you follow and partly because it is easy to form superficial relationships whereas meaningful relationships are more rare. That said, remember that evolution in the spiritual sense is intimately bound up with relationships and with the fulfillment of the best possibilities in relationships. As we become better we do eventually attract better friends. But with regard to making connections and reaching out to others it’s good to simply offer the best of yourself whenever possible and to not expect it in return. So you can adapt to the needs of others and take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves. We want to expand our relationships and opportunities for service and not narrow them unduly or expect that many will become our close friends. We can simply share as much as possible with each person as fits their nature and circumstance.

“Real friendliness is strong. It isn’t weak and dependent. A fearless man will use it on everyone.” How to Like People, Robert Jackson

Someone asked, “Why is the world imperfect?”

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If the world were perfect would you ask, “Why is the world perfect?” No you would not because in a hypothetically perfect world you would already know the answer. And such a world would be quite boring would it not? Because everything would be known and nothing would be lacking and so there would be nothing to discover and no adventure to be had. And so the world with relativity, the world with some imperfection, that is the world to be in and that is the world as we have. The reality we have is the beauty of evolution, both physical and spiritual.

…a world in which matter never got out of place …and iron had no flaws and wood no crack, in which gardens had no weeds and food grew ready cooked…and things never went wrong, would be a much easier place to live in.  But for purposes of training and development it would be worth nothing at all. It is the resistance that puts us on our mettle:  it is the conquest of the reluctant stuff that educates the worker.  I wish you enough difficulties to keep you well and make you strong and skillful!

Henry Van Dyke

Someone asked, “What is your personal definition of non-duality?”

Non-duality is a way of speaking about and underscoring the spiritual unity of all things. So, for instance Divinity or the divine reality in which all things originate is the same spiritual reality that is the essence of human consciousness and identity. Or to put it in another simpler and traditional way: God’s spirit and man’s spirit are one spirit.

The non-duality concept is also a way of underscoring how the mind functions in relation to the phenomenal world and the need to use but transcend the mind-level of understanding. The mind divides things, separates them, and understands in terms of relationships between different phenomena. The light of spiritual reality shining down into the mind sparks the non-duality realization, and a strict non-duelists might assert that all I have written here is itself too dualistic, and it is because any analysis of relationships involves duality or multiplicities that mislead as words, to some degree, inevitably do.

Another example is that in very dualistic thinking—such as we find in most religions and philosophies, spirit is conceived of as separate from matter. But a more non-dualistic concept is to define spirit and matter as aspects of one thing—in other words there is only single continuum of spirit-matter.

For your edification and amusement I point to the follow video on this theme:

 

Someone asked, “What is Marianne Williamson talking about when she says there’s a ‘dark psychic energy’ in America?”

Many people who supported Trump did so because they are, without realizing it, caught up in dark fears and selfish materialistic desires of the group. And many are so caught up in this force that they are willing to harm others or see them harmed in the frantic attempt to satisfy their desires and shield themselves from mostly artificial enemies and others perceived as “outsiders,” the later phenomena being related to propaganda as in the Faces of the Enemy.

About Marianne Williamson, in New Age teachings, fear and selfish desires are seen as not only in the heads of individuals but they also exists on a psychic (astral) level which is an actual dimension or vibratory field that pervades everything on our planet like a dense invisible flog. So in this sense, we all live in a communal or group-think aura (really a relatively mindless state) where we are subject to the psychic forces and pressures of the group emotion (This is rather like the Borg mind of Star Trek fame.) It is telepathy or consciousness-sharing on a lower emotional level, and at that level many humans unconsciously participate in the communal “dark psychic energy” that colors and conditions a substantial portion of the US psyche. It is literally, “the dark side of the force” as the Star Wars mythology correctly names it.

Many people pick up the depression, the anxiety, the fear or irritation of other people. It is rather like the phenomena of sympathetic vibration in the physics laboratory… many people do not know which emotions are their own and which emotional mood they have picked up from people around them.

Dr. Shafica Karagulla

Group mind, the term, is frequently used to denote the collective conscious of a specific group of people such as a tribe, village, or town, and which is the accumulation of their essential beliefs. Usually the group mind occurs within a certain location, so the thoughts, fears, hopes, and desires of the inhabitants form a sphere of energy that attaches itself to that area. The group mind influences the residents by disposing them to the nature of the thought form, or mind set. It can promote such behavior as shared by members of a magical lodge. This is the way people share a basic commonality. The group mind phenomena should be differentiated from the group mod or other psychotic behavior, and not confused with the group soul.

Group Mind – The Mystica

See also:

Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, Dean Radin Ph.D.

The Global Consciousness Project

On a happier note, there is a higher correspondence to the “dark psychic force” which is the “Light psychic force,” e.g.:

Someone asked, “What should Americans know about Marianne Williamson’s run for the presidency?”

They should know, but do not, that most of her ideas belong to the future, a future that, sadly, most neither deserve nor are yet ready for. Since the US population is not yet ready for a person of her quality and type and views, it is unlikely she will not be elected but perhaps she will find a role in the new Democratic administration.

Americans should realize that Marianne Williamson has been unfairly attacked in some media and her views distorted and misrepresented. Sometimes this is done as satire, as in the case of Stephen Colbert, but the humor in this case is not worth the price of it as it does a serious disservice to the viewers and is quite harmful.

Williamson’s beliefs on health and healing are often one of the main criticisms by her detractors. What is often not appreciated is that…

…her HIV/AIDS activism, which came at a time when many were afraid to even be in the same room as someone who was HIV-positive, let alone someone dying from AIDS complications. She founded Project Angel Food in 1989 to deliver food and provide other services, like hospice care, to those with terminal illnesses. Again, like with the Los Angeles Center for Living, of which the program was an extension, most of those the organization served were suffering from HIV/AIDS. Marianne Williamson Has a Long, Complicated Relationship With the LGBTQ Community

We also have;

And in a blog post Williamson wrote:

I’m a modern woman, and of course I go to the doctor. Of course I take pharmaceuticals when they’re called for, and I am as grateful as anyone for the advances of modern medicine.

I do not judge pharmaceuticals, and I do not judge anyone who uses them – including for depression.

What I do criticize – and I cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t – is predatory practices on the part of big pharmaceutical companies.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, we find:

Whatever context that was in, I never told anyone not to go to the doctor. I spent hours and hours and hours driving people to the doctor. When a clergyperson, a faith leader, prays with someone, or leads them in a guided meditation—this is not in repudiation of medicine. Body, mind, and spirit. In today’s world, the oncologist is liable to be the first person to suggest that you get yourself over to one of those spiritual support groups, because serious spiritual practice has been proven to boost the functioning of the immune system. And by the way, when I was working with AIDS patients, a lot of that was at a time when there was no medicine yet. Marianne Williamson Explains Her Magical Thinking

On his blog, Mark King wrote:

“It was bloody war, and Marianne pulled up her sleeves and got to work on our behalf. She should always, always be remembered and honored for that. While her current political moment may be fleeting and easy to satirize, I won’t deny Marianne Williamson her due when it comes to her devotion to us in our darkest hour. I wish we had had a hundred more like her.” welcome, my friends…

Somone asked,”What do you think that we can learn from the universe and the stars?”

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The most profound answer can be found in the writings of George William Russell who wrote the poem “Star Teachers” which runs:

…These myriad eyes that look on me are mine;
Wandering beneath them I have found again
The ancient ample moment, the divine,
The God-root within men.

For this, for this the lights innumerable
As symbols shine that we the true light win:
For every star and every deep they fill
Are stars and deeps within.

Some one on Quora asked, “How did you enter into a spirit of opulence?”

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I’m 13 years old. The library is seven blocks from my house. I walk there in the early evenings. Along the way, I whistle and sing; softly on the singing because I don’t know how and its strictly in-the-shower level vocalizations. I’ve never heard of meditation, or yoga, but I begin to do it anyway. I have no names or concepts for the inward seeking. I think during these meditative walks, but often the thinking stops, replaced by something else. The singing is breath and the sound is searching. Among the notes and thoughts of warm summer nights, my thoughts settle into a wonderful stillness. There are sacred words in the sounds of traffic and in the voices of people on the streets. I listen to these magical sounds; I attend to them with an inner stillness. I walk in the flow of something that I will much later call energy, or fire, or light. I read myself in the fire. But I do not call it by these names, for I have no name, no words. I’m just a boy out for a walk. Decades later, I find some of the words in Edward Carpenter, a kindred spirit who wrote:

What is this flood, overcoming body and sense?
I feel the walls of my skull crack, the barriers part,
The sun-flood enter–

Love, magnified, floating eternal seas of essence–
Before and behind births and deaths
Spiritual gravitation, the emergence evermore expanding.

Back to the first word of speech,
On to the last utterance of seers,
My soul catches the perfect song.

Adapted from my blog A Short Biography

Someone asked “I always help others because I feel worthless. How do I love myself?”

Truly love, then help others not in order to feel less worthless but help them because you love them. If you do that you will be in a space of love that includes yourself and everything else.

“The true way to love is to reflect and meditate deeply and constantly upon the significance and meaning of love, its origin, its expression through the soul, its qualities, goals and objectives.” Alice Bailey

Someone asked, “Are the benefits of meditation the same without mantra and only breath counting?”

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Meditation is not breath counting—that’s just an aid to mindfulness which is a preliminary thing, and counting is not necessary and if you are counting then you are not meditating.

Mantra can be helpful, but again that’s not meditation but a form, a vibration like a note of music, that is used to trigger a meditative state. It is relatively useless unless you can be the consciousness behind the mantra while understanding the essence of meditation as it relates to love, service, and divination of meaning.

Breath, mantra, posture, and so on are all just forms and all are empty and pointless without the right spirit behind them. Meditation itself relates to the formless, to that which is beyond all forms, thoughts, and ordinary emotions.

Meditation has a closer affinity with the best music, poetry, and love than it does with mantra and breath.

Someone asked, “What is the intended purpose of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra?”

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Repetition of any kind is a means of strengthening a thought or pattern. It is also a reflection of the cosmic principle of cycles where everything in nature is expressed in rhythm. However, what is not so well appreciated is error inherent in soulless repetition which tends to numb the consciousness without in real benefit. It is the energy and quality behind any action that gives it real meaning and potency.

Soulless repetition destroys the Teaching. Also, the quality of rhythm must be understood. Of course, every crystal functions according to the principles of attraction and pulsation. But pulsation—or rhythm—is characteristic of the living principle. However, any given rhythm may be more or less alive or dead. Living rhythms, spiritualized by the power of consciousness, will produce varying combinations of subtle energies. But the rhythm of the lips’ soulless repetitions results only in a dead beat that violates the wisdom of silence and brings only harm. Beware of repetitions devoid of spirit! Truly, they dissolve the most precious gems of the spirit. If one’s action is based only on fear or greed, then even a skeleton or a military drummer could rap out a more useful rhythm. Can one expect a manifestation of fire from the raps of the tail of a dog awaiting a bone? Remember this when you are dealing with the finest energies, when you intend to approach and awaken the manifestation of Fire.

Agni Yoga

Someone asked, “What happens in our brain and nervous system, when we like a new song or new music? Is it linked with memories or is it something else entirely?”

I think it is both linked with memories and for many people also “something else entirely.” It depends on the nature of the consciousness of the listener. About this consider this quote by Beethoven, “Music – The one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” Music speaks to the soul and evokes it, or it does so for those with ears to hear.

I’ve come across no finer description than that of the poem on music titled “Wizard:”

…Like some illumined thing
Akin to lighting in the stormy air
It ribboned the darkness with the edge of fire.

And blazing fiercer yet
Challenged the inky hollows of the soul
With such immortal flame
That memories long hid as in a tomb
And hopes deprived and dreams beyond our call
Leaped in the light and beckoned us again…

Angela Morgan

Her poems are online in many places including Angela Morgan – Poems by the Famous Poet – All Poetry

This is a picture of her:

Someone asked, “How do you motivate yourself when there are still questions on purpose of life?”

Life is an adventure! The questions are part of the mystery. It is all very exciting and interesting. You also are a mystery. Accept the challenge. What a wondrous self-discovery awaits you. Be cheerful and go forward with confidence. You will gain ever-increasing knowledge of the meaning of things and all will be well. I have seen it.

Images from Morphing with Light

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What is the definition of the word ‘intuition’? 

The dictionary definition of the word is “insight, direct or immediate cognition, spiritual perception.” The word is from Latin intuitionem suggesting “a looking at or consideration.” In the deeper sense it is the consideration of anything in the light of the soul.

There is another word with which intuition is often confused and that is “instinct” which can be thought of as the lower or animal correspondence to intuition. And there is this crucial difference—instinct is evolved from below but intuition descends from above. When many people talk about “intuition” they really speaking of the experience of instinct and not the higher faculty which the dictionary rightly relates to “spiritual perception.”

Esoteric philosophy identifies the true intuition as belonging to the spiritual realm that is above the mental or intellectual plane. This realm is described as the source of intuition, light, unity, beauty, and “pure meaning.” It is the light from this level that “illuminates the mind.”

Significant Quotations on Intuition from Many Sources

Intuition is a comprehensive grip of the principle of universality, and when it is functioning there is, momentarily at least, a complete loss of the sense of separateness. Alice Bailey, Glamour, A World Problem, p. 3 Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once. Johann Kaspar Lavater

Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, and illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. This last is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known. Plotinus

Intuition is to thinking as observation is to perceiving. Intuition and observation are our two sources of knowledge. We remain alienated from an object in the observed world as long as we do not have within us the corresponding intuition, which supplies the piece of reality missing from the percept. Rudolf Steiner, Start Now: A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises, p. 71

Intuition is to knowledge what the white cane is to the blind. Jérôme Touzalin – French playwright

Intuition is light itself, and when it is functioning, the world is seen as light and the light bodies of all forms become gradually apparent. This brings with it the ability to contact the light centre in all forms, and thus again an essential relationship is established and the sense of superiority and separateness recedes into the background. Alice Bailey, Glamour, A World Problem, p. 3 Short of a historical breakdown which would render routine ineffectual and force us to attend again to things that matter most, we wait for art; for metaphysicians who, imbued with that species of truth that is beauty in its mental mode, are (like Plato) concomitantly poets. By irradiating the human imagination that has atrophied in this kali yuga, this age of iron, such men might restore to it the supple, winged condition it requires if it is to come within light-years of Truth. They might return to our inner eye – almost, one might say, to our sense of touch – ontological spaces we have forgotten exist, landscapes crowded with presences the knowing of which can turn men into saints. Huston Smith, Forgotten Truth, The Common Vision of the World’s Religions, p. 36

In the night we stumble over things and become acutely conscious of their individual separateness. But the day reveals the greater unity which embraces them. The man whose inner vision is bathed in an illumination of his consciousness at once realizes the spiritual unity reigning supreme over all differences. His mind no longer awkwardly stumbles over individual facts of separateness in the human world, accepting them as final. He realizes that peace is in the inner harmony which dwells in truth and not in any outer adjustments. He knows that beauty carries an eternal assurance of our spiritual relationship to reality, which waits for its perfection in the response of our love. Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man, p. 67

There are only three ways by which [the mind] can make itself a channel or instrument of Truth. Either it must fall silent in the Self and give room for wider and greater consciousness; or it must make itself passive to an inner Light and allow that Light to use it as a means of expression; or else, it must itself change from the questioning intellectual superficial mind it now is to an intuitive intelligence, a mind vision fit for the direct perception of the divine Truth. Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, p. 161

Human beings have an intuitive capacity and knowledge (what the romantic poets called sensibility) that somewhere at the center of life is something ineffably and unalterably right and good, and that this ‘rightness’ can be discovered through artistic and spiritual explorations that have been honored by all the great perennial religious traditions. David Whyte, The Heart Aroused, p. 293

What is … needed [for the appreciation of the deepest truth of beauty] is the awakening of a certain vision, an insight and an intuitive response in the soul. Reason which studies always from outside, cannot give this inner and more intimate contact; it has to aid itself by a more direct insight springing from the soul itself and to call at every step on the intuitive mind to fill up the gap of its own deficiencies. Sri Aurobindo, Social and Political Thought, pp. 132-3

While preserving what we have learned from reductionism and analysis, scientific method now needs to be extended to include ways of direct participation and knowing that give us insight into the properties of the coherent, emergent wholes that make up much of the natural world. Often called intuition or non-inferential knowing, this gives us insight into the qualities of organisms, landscapes, ecosystems, families, communities and organisations, allowing us to recognise whether they are healthy or stressed, integrated or fragmented, coherent or disturbed. Brian Goodwin, Resurgence, Jan/Feb 2003, p. 14 … when Goethe maintained that one can only come to know that which one loves, he had in mind an understanding of knowing that ranged far beyond information processing. Such knowing is not distant from the object to be known, nor is it exploitative. Its motives are high, its methods gentle, and its interests selfless. It is time to articulate and practice an epistemology of love instead of one of separation. Arthur Zajonc, Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry, p. 179

The remarkable modern capacity for differentiation and discernment that has been so painstakingly forged must be preserved, but our challenge now is to develop and subsume that discipline in a more encompassing, more magnanimous intellectual and spiritual engagement with the mystery of the universe. Such an engagement can happen only if we open ourselves to a range of epistemologies that together provide a more multidimensional perceptive scope of knowledge. To encounter the depths and rich complexity of the cosmos, we require ways of knowing that fully integrate the imagination, the aesthetic sensibility, moral and spiritual intuition, revelatory experience, symbolic perception, somatic and sensuous modes of understanding, empathic knowing. Above all, we must awaken to and overcome the great hidden anthropocentric projection that has virtually defined the modern mind: the pervasive projection of soullessness onto the cosmos by the modern self’s own will to power. Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, p. 41

Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind was a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine. Bob Samples, The Metaphoric Mind: A Celebration of Creative Consciousness, p. 26

The intuition is therefore the recognition in oneself, not theoretically but as a fact in one’s experience, of one’s complete identification with the Universal Mind, of one’s constituting a part of the great World Life, and of one’s participation in the eternal persisting Existence. Alice Bailey, Glamour, A World Problem, p. 4

Straight-knowledge is the kindled fire of the heart. Agni Yoga, Hierarchy, 200

Intuition and concepts constitute… the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge. Immanuel Kant

Intuition is seeing with the soul. Dean Koontz

The intuition is a higher power than is the mind … it is the power of pure reason, an expression of the buddhic principle, and lies beyond the world of the ego and of form. Only when a man is an initiate can the exercise of the true intuition become normally possible. By that I mean that the intuition will then be as easily operative as is the mind principle in the case of an actively intelligent person. The intuition, however, will make its presence felt much earlier in extremity or on urgent demand. Alice Bailey, Glamour, A World Problem, pp. 81-2

Intuition enlightens and so links up with pure thought. They together become an intelligence which is not simply of the brain, which does not calculate, but feels and thinks. Piet Mondrian

There is an earthly sun, which is the cause of all heat, and all who are able to see may see the sun; and those who are blind and cannot see him may feel his heat. There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence; but those who have not attained spiritual consciousness may yet feel His power by an inner faculty which is called Intuition. Paracelsus

Hope for the future springs from inner sources. Its foundation is the heart-centred intuition, innate in every human being, and now, at this time of crisis, awakening in so many. Its role is crucial. Its presence illumines all that is life-enhancing, bridging as it does between the sacred and the everyday world. “Straight knowledge”, is a term used to describe true intuition: straight knowledge – spontaneous and undistorted. “High freedom” it has been called, this experience, in waking consciousness, of the presence of our true Self in every other form, the glimpsing for a moment of the light that radiates from every atom, the transformation of perception that comes when a truth becomes one’s own direct experience. Jan Nation

The idea of intuition is often misinterpreted, or even abused. Even those who accept it do not understand it properly. They often suppose that intuition can be acquired without effort, and simply falls upon them from the sky. They do not think about the vast accumulations intuitive individuals must have and the enormous tensions they must endure. Agni Yoga, Supermundane III, 507

..the imagination is the seed of the intuition, because that which is not existent somewhere within our apparently complex planetary system cannot be imagined. Alice Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age Vol. II, p. 373

Someone asked, “Who is the Brotherhood of Light?”

The Brotherhood of Light is the ultimate source of spiritual guidance.

(image by the author)

Lucis Trust offers the following brief summary of The Brotherhood of Light:

Throughout time, the idea of a group of wise and enlightened beings working behind the scenes to guide our planet has been conveyed in spiritual teachings, in literature and myth. The group has been known by many names, including the spiritual Hierarchy, the Masters of the Wisdom, the Elder Brothers , the rishis of India, and the Communion of Saints. During times of crisis in human affairs great teachers have emerged from the Hierarchy into the world of time and space. These have included Socrates, Shri Krishna, Mohammed, the Buddha and the Christ.

The Spiritual Hierarchy can be understood as reservoirs of lighted, loving energy on the inner side of life – a presence in the higher reaches of consciousness. They are the substance of what is often referred to as the Kingdom of God. Mystics and seekers of every faith have always known this. It is these energies and these Beings that shape the evolving sense of purpose and direction in human affairs, and that are awakening us now as a species to a new understanding of oneness.

A Preliminary Clarification

I see that Erasmo Parra gave us a lengthy response to the question and he cited three sources: Alice Bailey, H.P. Blavatsky, and the “Ascended Master” concept or teaching. I think his his answer is commendable with one key exception, namely that the “Ascended Masters” teaching, as I explain below, does not really belong with the other two. The Blavatsky and Bailey Teachings are the primary sources for the teaching on The Brotherhood of Light, though there are numerous other secondary sources that support them including the Rosicrucian, the esoteric side of Freemasonry as well as many individual writers.

However, the Bailey and Blavatsky sources also resulted in numerous imitators whose teachings are in the nature of a distorted reflection with irrelevant and erroneous things being inserted and essential things being left out. The phrase “Ascended Master” originated in the “I AM” movement about which Bailey wrote:

The Masters brought before the general public by such movements as the I AM movement are a travesty of the reality. The Masters portrayed in the many theosophical movements (since the time of H.P.B.) are not distinguished by intelligence and show little judgment in the choice of those whom the organizations claim are initiates or important members of the Hierarchy. https://www.lucistrust.org/books…

Likewise, in the Theosophical tradition that Blavatsky originated, Pablo Sender offers the following insightful critique of of “Mahatmas versus Ascended Masters.”

Definition

The phrase “Brotherhood of Light” has a number of synonyms and these include: Hierarchy, Spiritual Hierarchy, The Masters, and The Lodge. This Brotherhood or Light or Spiritual Hierarchy is the original source that inspired all of the great religions and cultural evolutions of humanity. Behind the evolution of the world is a brotherhood of light. Behind humanity, events, nations, cycles of history, is a mysterious source of inspiration. It is the Hierarchy of Love and intelligence, a brotherhood of enlightened souls who lead and who are the goal and guiding light of humanity. Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of it as, “…that lofty and sequestered class who have been its prophets and oracles, the high priesthood of the pure reason, the Trismegisti, the expounders of the principles of thought from age to age.” They are transcendent; participants in super-nature, “…the privilege of this class is an access to the secrets and structure of nature, by some higher method than by experience”.

They were and are men, yet now more than that. Through many lives, they came by way of natural human evolution. They are called “Masters,” because they have mastered nature and achieved vast knowledge inclusive of yet transcending all the accumulated knowledge of all humanity. The Masters are human, yet not limited by human faults. They are divine, but not all-powerful. They are masters of wisdom, mediators of powerful spiritual energy, of divine love and intelligence. The Hierarchy, as a brotherhood of knowledge and enlightenment, are instrumental in the evolution of life, including but not limited to human life. They manifest spiritual luminosity; a mastery of self–of all things physical, emotional, mental.

We understand life as unfoldment of consciousness. So man, by evolution, transcends the animal, and the spiritual Hierarchy of our world, by evolution, transcends the human. Hierarchy is true consciousness, and by our approach to it we come to understand what it means to be awake, to be alive, to be truly conscious. So, humanity becomes a future Hierarchy. Hierarchy is a unity, a collective light behind and through the foundations of all things benevolent. The existing good in human arts, sciences, and societies, the good of all human creativity in the world, is in reality a blend of human with Hierarchical light. The light of world civilizations, seen from space, is the symbol of both our light and theirs. The collective aura of humanity grows luminous in the approach of Hierarchy. Their visitations support the long march of human history. Their power–in concert with our best efforts–stands as guard and guide in struggle of light with darkness.

Hierarchy is an integral part of the aura of the Earth, and the soul of humanity, that slowly awakening light, is also integral to that same aura. So, behind the scenes, members of this Brotherhood are active in fostering the spiritual and cultural life of nations.

They rarely come before the public eye, and when they do are not generally not recognized other than by those closely affiliated with their work. People usually see–not the members of Hierarchy–but their agents or disciples. These disciples work in the world by intuition, being spiritually impressed and often without conscious knowledge that they are disciples fulfilling a mission. Others are partly or fully conscious and clearly know that their labor on behalf of humanity is under the guidance of Hierarchy.

The work of Hierarchy and their agents in the world is not limited to what people usually call spiritual or religious work. Rather the entire field of human evolution is their field of service. Their activities embrace the light of right government, education, and all the sciences and arts that constitute human culture.

These true teachers guide, inspire and educate, but do not coerce or force humanity. Individual freedom, especially mental freedom, is never infringed. A key consequence of this is that their disciples can make mistakes in the way they represent themselves, their teachings, and the nature of Hierarchy itself. To attempt to correct all mistakes would itself be a violation of human freedom. So, Hierarchy is not an imposition, but a bridge to the future.

(The above “Definition” is adapted from my script for the video:

Spiritual Hierarchy–Its Nature and Relation to History and the Cultural Evolution of Humanity

Additional Sources

There are, as indicated above, numerous narratives in history about the role played by The Brotherhood, but perhaps the most notable example where we have a detailed record is relate in the book The Comte de St. Germain: Isabel Cooper-Oakley. Another good narrative on the history of this can be found here The Count of Saint-Germain.

Among the secondary narratives there is also What is the Spiritual Hierarchy? by Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis. They offer the following well written definition:

Every society has had its belief in divine support. Angelic beings have been a running theme throughout the Bible as messengers of God… devas, dynasties, and divine incarnations. Taoists have their pantheon of gods and divine ones. The gods and sacred beings of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt played a central role in those societies. The Orphic and Elysian mysteries, with their mythology of the gods, were indispensable in the development of classical Greek culture and its golden age. In more recent times, mystics such as Helena Blavatsky, Max Steiner, Alice Bailey, Rudolf Steiner, and others helped reawaken an understanding of the spiritual hierarchy. Today, with the blossoming spiritual renaissance, many are taking a closer look at our relationship to the Holy Ones.

Whether religious or secular, the concept of invisible spiritual beings is part of humanity’s cultural heritage. They are a source of comfort, solace, and inspiration. Countless sages and mystics have claimed direct contact with these Holy Ones. And the ancient spiritual training centers of the world—the mystery schools and ashrams—shared a common goal of helping the aspirant achieve a direct connection to the divine. Today, with the material scientific perspective, some look at the subject of the spiritual hierarchy as outdated myths or folktales. To them, angels and archangels are not relevant or a worthy subject for the modern mind. Yet this is the furthest thing from the truth. As we better understand the physical world we live in, it becomes even more essential to understand the spiritual roots that support and sustain our physical life. Of all the aspects of metaphysical study, the spiritual hierarchy can be one of the most difficult to approach in a clear and levelheaded way. Part of our challenge in understanding the spiritual hierarchy is that there is much confusing and conflicting information, depending on which system you follow. Various religious and metaphysical schools have their own interpretation of the hierarchy order, and sometimes these schools will be in apparent conflict or even antagonistic to each other. This is often due to centuries of less inspired hands reinterpreting ancient revelations. The approach in this book will be syncretistic. As the Rig Veda states, “The One Truth the sages call by many names.” By understanding the common thread that runs through the various spiritual systems, we can better appreciate how the Holy Ones are universal for all of us. There are three ways to define the spiritual hierarchy that we will explore in this book:

• A network of celestial beings under God

• The hierarchical order of life

• The hierarchy of Divine Light

A Network of Celestial Beings under God The spiritual hierarchy is the administrator of God’s divine plan. They are responsible for carrying out the various duties of creation. This holy order ranges from advanced souls in the human kingdom to glorious angels, archangels, and planetary leaders. We will pay particular attention to angels and archangels, yet there are other aspects of the Higher that exert an enormous influence as well.

These Holy Ones have been on the spiritual path for a long time, many for eons, and have evolved enormously. They work to uplift humanity and form the evolutionary link connecting us to God. These exalted beings work on different levels of unfoldment, which is why it’s called a hierarchy, yet all work in perfect harmony with one another. Together, they form the evolutionary chain that links all life from the simplest amoeba to the most radiant archangel. We need these great beings as they are our link to God, and God works through these wonderful beings, guiding and steering the entire process of evolution.

Someone asked, “Does perfection really exist in this life/universe, and is there any proof? 

In Soul Consciousness there is a wondrous sense of perfection that transcends all conventional meanings of the term. But there is a problem with this word “perfection” because it suggests an end, a completion, a culmination point beyond which there is then nowhere else to go. A Transcendent spiritual experience is the entrance into a realm that seems perfect, and yet we find that beyond that and beyond that is more and yet more. The path toward Perfection is both infinite and infinitely satisfying at each stage. Perfection is a static sounding noun but the energy of life is more analogous to a verb. The essential proof of the meaning of perfection is available and ever unfolding because Divinity is within.

Source: My answer Quora

Some asked, “What book has helped you navigate through life?”

There are many, but one of the most useful is:

Insights for the Age of Aquarius: A Handbook for Religious Sanity

This is an important book. Anyone who thinks, talks, or writes, needs it! Since so much is embodied in words, its vital to give close attention to the problems of language, meaning and communication as it relates to things psychological, philosophic, religious and metaphysical. This is what this book accomplishes with great skill. Application of the ideas in this book will clarify and empower your thinking and communication skills.

“Each set of religious abstractions is related, somehow, characterologically, to the person who made them; or: tell me your religion and you tell me what you are.” – Insights for the Age of Aquarius, Gina Cerminara

Someone asked, “What is the ultimate reality?

Ultimate reality is beyond the reasoning mind, beyond definitions, beyond intellect, and beyond things physical. Reality can not be seen if only physical vision is used, though of course there are those who point to all things physical and say, “This is reality.” For the spiritually oriented, the words “God” and “Reality” are often used to point to the same thing. For the materialistically oriented, the two words are often used to point to opposite things, reality being for them, a synonym for the material world. So we have different definitions to be aware of. To “define” means to limit I say that reality is unlimited and transcendent. In that sense, nothing (no things) truly define reality—rather reality defines everything else

What defines reality for an individual is their consciousness because what they are conscious of is real for them. Ultimately, each person must decide for themselves what is true and what is not and people are not static so this evolves over time. But for any truth to be meaningful, it must be found within our self which is to say, within the soul. The innermost self, the soul has knowledge of which the personality can become conscious. “Consciousness” means to know and the soul (the real you) knows vastly more than the personality. Evolution brings soul and personality together, so evolution is the evolution of consciousness and expressed reality.

God as “ultimate reality” is a phrase that expresses something about God, but all such phrases never seem adequate. The problem with this one is that it sounds final in the sense of static, whereas God is dynamic. A word such as “God” comes with certain emotional and mental associations that depend on personal experience. The word is just a bit of language and the meaning we seek is beyond language.

Words are like arrows pointing to something. It depends on what the words “truth” and “reality” are pointing to for you or for the community of word users who are trying to communicate. Despite the limitation of words, for me, there is some truth connected to the word “God,” but I’m OK with those who do not care for the term

There is only a very limited reality expressed in language. We can say that deep reality, or the one reality, is above and beyond language. Nevertheless, when the consciousness is ready, a word can serve as a reminder, pointing to that which is beyond and which was always known in the depths of consciousness.

But while conscious of the problems of words, meanings, and diversity of personal experiences, I do not wish to side step the question on semantic grounds. Some time ago, I used some words on my blog that work for me. At the current time, they go like this:

What is Truth?

There is cosmic Truth; kin to the energy that patterns all the suns in Space. It is transcendent Spirit, pure Light beyond thought and word.

There is Monadic truth, the sun-like core of Self, mystically one with spatial suns.

There is intuitional truth, pure Beautiful light, and more of truth than fits most any brain.

There is truth of soul, a fire above the mind, and great, but well below the fires of the great hierarchy of suns.

There is the relative truth that developed mind takes and forms to words. It embraces the practical and the communicative. It is thought-truth in which we may see, from time to time, mirrored sparkles of things cosmic and mysterious.

There are truths on the many strata of the emotional plane, an array of sensing and sensitivities in graded steps from most beautiful downward toward the darkly glamorous and exclusive pseudo truths of the fanatics.

But what is our relation to truth? We are light obstructions becoming clear light transmitters. All the common of intellect, of emotion and body, and all ordinary noise that we do and say—all this competes with the pure pressures from above, with the transcendental. So, in our sleepy misalignment we block our creative gifts, and our fears, greater than our loving desire to give, hold us in prison.

Yet then there comes the upward turned eye, the pure feeling, the creatively tensed thought—these instruments of divinity manifest. And as the eye mirrors suns in the far depths of space, so a certain turn of mind and heart mirrors the mystic, the most Transcendent. Then we render ourselves most clearly, drawing ever closer to the energy that patterns suns, ever closer to transcendent Spirit, to pure Light beyond thought and word.

What are the dimensions of spirituality?

It might be better if the question were: “What are the dimensions of spirituality and materiality.” I will offer as my answer a summary and simplification from the Ageless Wisdom.

There is the manifested and evolving universe, and there is THAT out of which the universe was born. Spirit, in the ultimate sense, is that source. Unlike the ultimate SOURCE, the manifested universe is evolving, changing and relativistic, Which is to say it unfolds in time and is composed of various types or grades of spiritual and material energies that are relative to, and understood in relation to each other.

Everything in the manifested universe is composed of matter and energy of some grade. In addition, the physical and the spiritual worlds are not entirely separate things but rather are a continuum of one unified thing which we can call spirit-matter. This continuum can be visualized as a hierarchy with spirit, or pure spiritual energy, at the top and the most dense physical matter at the bottom. Between the highest spirit and the lowest matter are many grades, levels, or dimensions. When we say that anything is spiritual or divine, we mean that it belongs one of the upper levels of this hierarchy, that is to say, it has a closer proximity to pure spirit than the realms or dimensions below it in the hierarchy. So, there are degrees of spirituality and it is correct to say that something can be relatively spiritual or relatively material because there are higher degrees of spirituality beyond it.

The Ageless Wisdom postulates that there are seven primary levels or dimensions in which spiritual and material evolution takes place. These principles and their relationships will be somewhat easier to grasp if we begin by placing human consciousness within this scheme. In simplified form, the constitution of man belongs to the lower three dimensions—soul, psychic, and physical—and may be said to consist of:

  1. Soul, a spiritual dimension
  2. Mind, a psychic dimension
  3. Emotion, a psychic dimension
  4. Body, belonging to the physical dimension

From the above, it may be surmised that the human mind and emotions do not belong to the dense physical world at all. While in physical incarnation, the mind works through the brain but it does not have its origin there and belongs to the psychic dimensions and these dimensions are of a much finer grade of spirit-matter than the dense physical body. Mind and emotions are rightly conceived of as energy fields that are extensions of the soul and these are tethered to a physical body during incarnation.

As Evolution proceeds, the soul expresses itself increasingly through the lower dimensions, that is, through its mental emotional and physical vehicles. Consequently mind, emotions, and physical body become illuminated and take on spiritual qualities. This evolution underscores the truth that spirit and matter are not separate things. We do not have a soul on the one hand and a material personality on the other, rather the two become blended. Through evolution, the soul takes greater possession of the personality and expresses itself through it. so, over time the lower dimensions become increasingly spiritualized.

As stated above, there are actually seven primary dimensions, and in simpler form, the four aspects described above actually belong to the three lowest dimensions which can be enumerated as: Soul, psychic, and spiritual. And, in the larger scheme of things, we have five other higher dimensions above these three and human evolution ultimate money moves up into these dimensions as well.

The full scheme of seven dimensions or levels is—including the lower three dealt with here— are shown chart the chart below. In the chart, the lower three are labeled V, VI, and VII.

The seven dimensions are sometimes called “The Seven Planes of our Solar System,” and, as shown below include many details and aspects not described in my answer.

Chart taken from the works of Alice A. Bailey.

Someone asked, “If the world is illusory and there is no ‘you,’ shouldn’t it be ‘I am NOT that’ instead of ‘I am that’?”

There is Reality or “I” or THAT and from it emerges phenomenal things that are less than THAT and yet things which, in various degrees are in proximity to THAT. This means illusion is relative. So there is no “you” in the absolute sense and but there is “you” in the phenomenal and relatively illusory sense. “I am THAT” is a verbal formula affirming one’s identity with the Reality behind everything, i.e. it is YOU in the absolute or true sense.

“I am NOT that” where “that” referred to a phenomenal form would be a way of saying the same thing as “I am THAT.”

“I am NOT that” where “that” referred to the Reality behind all would be simply materialism and illusion.

I think it is better to say this word is, relatively, illusory. To say otherwise is to equate all things, i.e. beauty and ugliness are equally illusory and hate and love are equally illusory, and a good answer and a bad answer to your question are equally illustory and such is not the case.
(Illusion is relative. The ancients were too binary in their thinking and verbalizations.)

Who believes in afterlife?

Eighty percent of the people in the US believe in it, and despite the fact that many of those are not sure about God. Fewer Americans Believe in God — Yet They Still Believe in Afterlife.

Also, 26 percent of people in the US believe in reincarnation. United States – belief in reincarnation 2016 | Statistic

I would tell you that I believe in it, but that is not accurate, rather, I would say with Walt Whitman, that I know it to be a reality:

“Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and am not contain’d between my hat and boots,

And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.) ”

Walt Walt Whitman

Someone asked, “What drives or inspires some people to live so selflessly?”

“Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.” Israel Zangwill

“I am… I am not a little exclusive I, but the great inclusive, allied I. It is the play of stellar electricity in my soul. It is the central heat of the planet warming my being… I look into myself, and if I find in me any goodness, any nobleness, any love, any upleaping ambition to create, I laugh, for these things are fragments of supernatural radium, of everlasting outpouring power. I have taken this power…as my own. I have stripped all the rags and trappings of heathenism from it. I have discovered its shattering stellar beauty. I have found out it is what men call God.” The Creed of Power, Frank Crane

People live according to what they are, and they think feel and act according to their sense of identity. People live according to their sense of who and what they know themselves to be and who and what they know others to be. The average person sees themselves as separate from others and separate from the surrounding universe. Consequently, they live for that separate identity. Spiritual growth is the evolution from and isolated and separate sense of self to a larger sense of self. The closer we are to enlightenment, the more deeply do we realize that we are part of everyone and everything. We are still aware of ourselves as a separate individual egos, but at the same time we know ourselves to be one with all beings. This unification is the central spiritual realization of life, and it is ever-expanding and multi-dimensional. Selfishness is simply a limitation of self-knowledge. By contrast, selflessness is an expanded knowledge and expanded sense of who and what one is. We live for the larger life because we know ourselves to be that life. We live for the larger love because we know ourselves to be that love.

“…but I was a vastness somehow, that in no way contradicted or conflicted with my limited individuality… I was both my individual self and in some greater way, ‘I’ was also everything.” The Sound of Light, Irina Starr

 

“Our treatment of people obviously depends on what we think they are. The more we think of our fellowmen as deterministic physical systems- robots, machines, brains- the more heartlessly and selfishly we can allow ourselves to deal with them… On the other hand, the more we appreciate their mental life as unique… more original and creative than mere space-time mass relations of matter, the more we are interested in them as individuals and the more we tend to respect them and consider their viewpoints and feelings.” Dr. J.B. Rhine

 

“This radio station you call your body

Bearing along its quivering wires

The keen stress

Of strange fires;

Curious cover you say is you-

I, to humor you, say it too;

Calling by name as you’d have me do

Your frail mechanical outer dress-

Do you know as you sit and talk with me

This isn’t the self I see?

Do you know above and about your frame

I see a something spread and shine-

A presence wonderful, divine?

This radio station you term a “man”

And give him a name and known address;

Form familiar whose face you scan,

Whose friendly hand you press;

Do you know, as his body stands in view

The man himself is apart from you…”

Angel Morgan

Someone asked, “What do you do to practice self-compassion?”

I don’t think in terms of a practice of that. In a deeper sense, compassion or love is a unitary entity and when we really love it radiates out to all naturally and without ego effort includes a right sense of self, or self-esteem—this latter is not the same as “self love.” See my blog post for further development of this: The Paradox of Self Love.

Love is undermined by self-hate, but self-love is not the same as self-esteem and it is a mistake, I think, to emotionalize about loving oneself or to focus on that. See the exposition of the issue here: What the Self-Esteem Movement Got Disastrously Wrong | Dan Sanchez

There is actually some research on this theme: Does Self-Love Lead to Love for Others?, and it concludes with:

“Does loving oneself lead to loving others? The answer is not the simple “ yes ” often noted in popular discourse. In fact, the opposite is often the case. Self-love as operationalized as narcissism is linked to game playing and selfishness in romantic relationships.Narcissists look to relationships as a source of power or control — not as an arena for experiencing and expressing commitment.Narcissism does not lead to loving others in any interpersonally positive sense of the contrast, the implications of self-esteem for loving others are generally positive but are still mixed. High self-esteem individuals may be resistant to negative experiences of love sickness. How-ever, they may also miss the highs associated with manic love.These individuals also report greater passionate sum, the ego can be as much of a hindrance to romantic relationships as it can be a help. Individuals looking to experience love may be best served by turning out toward the other rather than turning in toward the self.”

 

 

Veridical Near Death Reports: NDEs where there is Objective Evidence for the Reality of the Experience

This is a YouTube playlist consisting of a large number of videos of Near Death Experiences that are veridical, that is they have features that coincide with real and often  dramatic  subsequent physical events that demonstrate that the experiences were not merely subjective.  This type of report provides evidence not only for the reality of Near Death Experiences, but for the reality of paranormal phenomena.

 

Morphing with Light