Jan 25, 2021

The Spiritual Power of Marriage

 The Most Decisive Factor in Human Survival

Pitirim A. Sorokin
 
 
 
 
Marriage is a social evidence of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and civic maturity of the individual. It involves the momentous transformation of a boy into a husband-father, and of a girl into a wife-mother, with corresponding changes in their social positions, privileges, and responsibilities.
 
For a large majority of men and women, marriage is the most vital, the most intimate, and the most complete unification of body, mind, and spirit into one socially approved, indivisible “we”. In a good marriage, the individual egos of the parties merge. The joys and sorrows of one become the joys and sorrows of the other. All their values, aspirations, and life-experiences become fully shared. Their mutual loyalty is unconditionally pledged until death do part them. The bond of marriage is truly sacred and indissoluble.
 
Such an all-embracing union serves as the most powerful antidote against loneliness. It develops and expresses love at its noblest and best, in the moral ennoblement of the married and the true socialization of their children.
 
From the remotest past, married parents have been the most effective teachers of their children, and the family has been the most important school for the transformation of newly-born human animals into intelligent, socially responsible personalities. This decisive educational role is well summed up in the dictum:
 
“What the family is, such will the society be.”
 
Furthermore, the cultivation of mutual love and the task of educating their children stimulate married persons to release and develop their best creative impulses. For surely the mission of molding their own and their children’s personalities is as ennobling as the creation of a masterpiece in the arts or sciences. And regardless of education, social status, religion, or economic conditions, each married couple derives from a good marriage the fullest satisfaction of this creative urge which is in all of us.
 
In this sense, marriage is the most universal and the most democratic school for the development of the creative potential of every human being. This creative urge is possibly the most distinctive mark of the human species, and its satisfaction is an absolute necessity for human happiness.
 
Enjoying the marital union in its infinite richness, parents freely fulfill many other paramount tasks.  They maintain the procreation of the human race. Through their progeny they determine the hereditary and acquired characteristics of future generations. Through marriage they achieve a social immortality of their own, of their ancestors, and of their particular groups and community. This immortality is secured through the transmission of their name and values, and of their traditions and ways of life to their children, grandchildren, and later generations.
 
The fulfillment of these tasks explains why marriage has been regarded by all societies as the culminating point of human existence, and as the most decisive factor in the survival and well-being of the societies themselves
 
(Pitirim A. Sorokin)
 
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From the book “The American Sex Revolution”, by Pitirim A. Sorokin, Porter Sargent Publisher, Boston, USA, 1956, 186 pp., see pp. 4-6. The book is available in the associated websites.
 
The article is also part of the September 2019 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pages 1-2. It was published as an independent item at the associated websites on 25 January 2021.
 
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Read “The Five Dimensions of Love” (Pitirim A. Sorokin’s Practical Approach to Altruism).
 
Consider examining the article “Turning a House Into a Temple”.
 
Take a look at “Love Without Violence”, by Erich Fromm, and “Of Work and Love”, by Kahlil Gibran.
 
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Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.
 
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Jan 19, 2021

The Lesson of the Sun in Capricorn

The Fulfilment of Duty
As a Source of Blessings

Carlos Cardoso Aveline
 
 
 
 
The tenth sign of the Zodiac, Capricorn, begins around December 22nd. Earth is its element, and Saturn the ruling planet. When the Sun is in Capricorn, life becomes more realistic and disciplined. The fulfillment of duty becomes central to the agenda of souls.
 
Capricorn people have a long-term view of things. Planning is a natural talent. In some occasions, stubbornness can be a problem. As in every other sign, the fundamental equation is given by the struggle in the soul between two magnetic fields: that of ethics and altruism, which allows one to build a heavenly treasure, and the field of selfishness based on spiritual ignorance, which condemns one to the process of self-deception. Fortunately, the goal of Capricorn is elevated. It learns from its mistakes. It has tenacity.
 
Anna Maria Costa Ribeiro writes:
 
“Capricorn in the northern hemisphere occurs in winter. And in order to survive the cold weather of winter you have to be strong. Nature struggles to preserve life. In the same way, the Capricorn person - who has learned and assimilated all the phases of previous signs - comes to a moment when he has a definite notion of who he is, what he is capable of and what he can achieve in the world. And Capricorn wants the stability of his power, of his social position.”
 
Anna Maria adds:
 
“Capricorn is socially oriented: the world defines what is right, important and acceptable and the individual follows these rules. Capricorn is the established order, that which is real, the practice and not the theory. ” [1]
 
How exactly does the influence from Saturn guide Capricorn? How does it help guide life as a whole?
 
The essence of the energy from a planet is universal, or neutral. In other words, it doesn’t always push people into this or that direction necessarily.  Its possibilities are almost limitless. The objective way in which the influence of a planet will occur depends not only on the whole sky at a given moment, but, above all, it depends on the Karma of each individual. The concrete expressions of astrological energies depend on the degree of alertness, maturity, awareness and inner harmony of each being.
 
According to Donna Cunningham, the negative aspects of a planet’s influence are exactly the positive aspects, taken to extremes.
 
In Capricorn, the ability to organize life is a unique talent; yet, if exaggerated, it leads to rigidity and inflexibility. Realism is a valuable quality. However, in the absence of a broad mental horizon, too much realism will produce pessimistic people. Although prudence is most important, an excessive amount of caution leads one to unnecessary fear and paralysis. [2]
 
Like the other earth signs, Capricorn can obtain the best balance in its soul by combining its realism and firmness with a positive attitude towards the virtues of other signs. That must include the dreaming ability of Pisces, the affectionate nature of Cancer and Leo, the sharp view of Scorpio, and the innovation of Aries. This shouldn’t be too difficult, because Capricorn is a sign of common sense.
 
Belonging to one of the last houses of the zodiac, Capricorn works under the inspiration of the Lord of the Rings: Saturn is the Master of Time and Karma. [3]
 
In Capricorn the energy of life is mature and capable of a constant creative synthesis. This is the sign of law and order. In the tenth territory of the zodiac, life knows the long-term time so well that it is easy for it to live one day at a time. Therefore Capricorn is patient.
 
How can one improve the experience of this sign and avoid some of its natural problems? While examining the earth element in Astrology, Stephen Arroyo wrote:
 
“The earth spirits are the gnomes, which are to be controlled by cheerful generosity (…). The greatest strength and radiance of the earth signs shines forth when they have assimilated this quality into their nature. ” [4]
 
Capricorn seeks for the highest point on the mountain, the place where the sky touches the earth. It looks for the top while keeping his feet on the ground. Working in an organized and consistent manner, Capricorn brings human experience close to the culmination of the Zodiac. It is from the point of view of ethics and with a practical attitude that this sign relates to the divine world. Capricorn’s energy is luminous because it points to the path of duty, and duty well done opens the door of bliss before all beings.
 
NOTES:
 
[1] From the book “Conhecimento da Astrologia”, by Anna Maria Costa Ribeiro, Novo Milênio Editora, 1996, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 733 pp., see p. 93. Also “Illustrated A-Z of Understanding Star Signs”, general editor Kim Farnell; Flame Tree Publishing, London, Printed in China, 224 pp., 2002, pp. 44-45.
 
[2] See Chapter 3 in the book “Astrology and Vibrational Healing”, by Donna Cunningham, copyright 1988. In Portuguese language, the title of the book is “Astrologia e Cura Através das Vibrações”.   
 
[3] See the articleThe Bright Side of Saturn”.
 
[4] Examine “Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements”, by Stephen Arroyo, M.A., CRCS Publications, California, USA, 191 pp., 1975, especially p. 107.
 
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The article “The Lesson of the Sun in Capricorn” was published in the associated websites on 19 January 2021, as the Sun was at the 29th degree of Capricorn.
 
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Read more:
 
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Pisces”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Aries”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Taurus”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Gemini”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Cancer”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Leo”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Virgo”,
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Libra”,  
* “The Lesson of the Sun in Scorpio” and
* “The Lesson if the Sun in Sagittarius”.
 
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Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.
 
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Jan 14, 2021

The Aquarian Theosophist, January 2021

 

 
 
 
Present civilization is clearly living extraordinary moments, spiritually, geologically and otherwise; yet most of what a theosophist sees cannot be easily put into words in very helpful ways.
 
The actual meaning of words depends on each one’s personal dictionary, and Silence is often more meaningful than many a premature attempt to explain transitional situations, especially when they are “liquid” and multidimensional.  
 
Much of what the Aquarian has to say must, therefore, remain in implicit realms and be perceived on the corresponding levels of perception, partially above worded thoughts.
 
The January 2021 edition of the Aquarian was prepared under the celestial conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, and these are its main topics: 
 
* The Only Important Temple: a Shrine in Our Souls (p.01).
 
* On Strengthening One’s Will (p.02).
 
* The Geography of Omniscience (p.04).
 
* Disaster, a Boon and a Blessing to Man (p.04).
 
* The Universe Is Guided From Within (p.05).
 
* The Consciousness of Stones (p.06).
 
* The Mountain, the Daisy, the Ant and the Human Being (p.07).
 
* Priorities in Human Evolution (p.08).
 
* Concerning the Moral Sense - 01: by Francis Hutcheson (p.09).
 
* Thoughts Along the Road: Deep Satisfaction and Contentment Are Produced by the Love of One’s Duty (p.11).
 
* The Art of Reading ‘The Secret Doctrine’ (p.12).
 
* A Pioneering Work: Independent Theosophy on Facebook (p.14) and
 
* On the Brink of Absolute Eternity: During Pralayas, Souls Are in Nirvana (p.15).

With 16 pages, the edition includes the List of New Items in the associated websites.
 
 
 
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The entire collection of The Aquarian is available at our associated websites.
 
Readers are invited to study (in a contemplative way) the article “Change in the Poles of Our Planet”.
 
If you want to help spread theosophy and ethics in today’s world, send the Aquarian to your friends; invite them to write to the editors making a free subscription of the journal.  
 
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Regarding the path to happiness, one should remember this phrase by Helena Blavatsky (photo): “Deserve, then desire”.
 
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Jan 11, 2021

Buchanan, on Moral Education

 Excerpts From a Book
Recommended by Helena Blavatsky

Joseph Rodes Buchanan
 

Helena P. Blavatsky and Prof. Joseph Rodes Buchanan



Editorial Note:
 
Helena Blavatsky wrote these words in an article about Prof. Joseph R. Buchanan and his book “Moral Education: Is Laws and Methods[1]:
 
It affords us real pleasure to give an old and respected friend a greeting through the new edition of his valuable work - Professor Buchanan’s latest thoughts on a complete scheme of education.
 
This learned gentleman, as our readers may recollect, is the discoverer in the western world of that mysterious power latent in man, which has been further enlarged upon by Prof. Denton in his ‘Soul of Things’. It is Professor Buchanan who is the real founder of the Science of Psychometry.”
 
The present work shows more than ever that like a few other spiritually wise men, the Professor does not feel himself at ease in the broad seat of modern civilization; he seems to have lost his way in the jungle of western materialism, but his brave spirit is struggling hard for the welfare of his race, who seem to be even unconscious of their degradation. He has hit upon the real source of danger which is so gloomily overhanging the Western world and threatening it with moral and spiritual ruin.”
 
Blavatsky concludes thus:
 
Let it not be taken as unforgivable sin that the book [Moral Education: Its Laws and Methods] has come into the world a little too soon. It will be at all events one of the necessary missing-links in the evolution of human thought and institutions.” [2]
 
The following paragraphs are excerpts from the book by Joseph Rodes Buchanan. The numbers of pages are mentioned in parentheses at the end of each quotation.
 
(CCA)
 
1. The Eternal Order
 
* The great and final triumph of moral education will be in the establishment of peace on earth and goodwill among men.
 
All religions have failed to do this - either because they have not sufficiently condemned war (or, like Mahomet, they made war) or because their inculcations were too high and pure to be incarnated in any church. It is painful to reflect how completely the followers of Christ have renounced his principles to identify themselves with war.
 
I would not say a word to depreciate the value of that religious inspiration which has been a potent influence for civilization and humanity in Europe, but I  must insist that thirty years of true moral education would do more for humanity than nineteen centuries of religious propaganda, aided by colleges, schools and literature, have already done.
 
I am sure that neither war, nor poverty, nor pestilence, nor crime is a part of the eternal order of society, but that these evils belong to the childhood and infancy of the race. A true philosopher with arbitrary power for twenty years might abolish all these evils wherever that power extended. Pestilence should be abolished by hygienic science and education, poverty by industrial education and science, war and crime by moral education. (pp. 270-271)
 
2. A History of Calamities
 
* Pleasure and pain are the Divine instrumentalities for guiding and governing mankind. Pain is the inevitable punishment which arrests us in wrong-doing, warns us of error, and compels us to desist. Inflicted by Divine ordination (the laws of nature) it is unquestionably a Divine monition as to the laws that are to be obeyed. It punishes us for injuring our bodies, and compels us to take care of them. It punishes all violations of the law of health, and all neglect of duties. In violating the law of the Divine life, the ethical element, we are punished by the hostility of our fellows, and by our debasement, remorse, and loss of happiness. In violating the laws of the practical energies we are punished by mortifying failures, loss or disaster. In violating the law of the intellectual nature we are punished by ignorance and mental obfuscation, leading to falsities and calamity.
 
The whole history of the world is a history of calamities produced by violated laws. War, pestilence, crime, poverty and insanity have scourged all nations in the past and present, and will continue to scourge them until the Divine laws are obeyed. (pp. 159-160)
 
3. Social Surroundings
 
* Every character is moulded by the social surroundings, as a plant is developed by the sun and air. (p. 93)
 
4. The Heaven of Music
 
* Music is the expression of the perfectly beautiful, of that harmony which is of heaven; it therefore easily brings us into accord with heavenly life. But mere music is not heaven any more than mere language is knowledge; yet as language is the key to knowledge, so is music the key to heavenly life; and as language may unlock stores of wisdom, or of rubbish, or of moral malaria, so may music open to our souls all the wealth of heavenly life, bringing the influx of all we need; or, on the other hand, it may bring a clangor which is not heaven, but “of the earth, earthly” - as barren for the soul as metaphysics for the mind. (p. 120)
 
5. Developing Useful Activities
 
* Useful occupation is essential to mental health, and it is the lack of useful occupation which fills our jails with criminals, and does much to fill our lunatic asylums. (…) The manly as well as the amiable virtues should be cultivated from the very beginning of education. The youngest children should be taught to make themselves useful (…). (p. 201)
 
6. The Moral Instructor
 
* The function of the moral instructor is to show the good or ill effects of human conduct in all its varieties, in its permanent as well as transient influence.
 
The ethical instructor should describe and explain the nature of all the virtues, illustrating their operation in daily life (…). His descriptions should be not only graphic in detail and philosophic in analysis, but eloquent in expression.
 
The pupil should be exercised in criticizing his own conformity to duty, but not in criticizing or censuring others.
 
The idea should be firmly and frequently impressed upon him that he must look for the causes of his success or failure to his own merits and demerits instead of finding fault with the world. (p. 101)
 
7. The Elevation of the Soul
 
* Feelings are not always competent guides to conduct. They give our moral nature its strength, but not its wisest capacities. (p. 100)
 
* The mind aspiring to the divine rises above all pettiness in the realm of all-comprehending love and heroic earnestness. (p. 143)
 
* The elevation of the pupil requires the prior elevation of the teacher, whose soul must be ruled by strong unselfish impulses which are found more often among women than among men. Ethical inspiration must come through an ethical medium. Only the good are competent to minister rightly to human progress, even in the mere acquisition of knowledge. (p. 183)
 
NOTES:
 
[1] Read the book by Prof. Buchanan: “Moral Education: Its Laws and Methods”.
 
[2] Click to see Helena Blavatsky’s article “Moral Education, by Prof. Buchanan”.
 
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An initial version of the above text is part of the September 2019 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pages 7-10.  The article is published as an independent item at the associated websites since 11 January 2021.   
 
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Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.
 
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Jan 5, 2021

The Vertical Side of a Journey

Or Building One’s Own Ladder to the Sky

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

 
 
 
In its inner dimension, the path to wisdom is a ladder to sky.
 
Each step taken transforms the pilgrim: the truth-seeker undergoes a transfiguration. As he walks through time and elevates his focus, he becomes a different being.  
 
On each level of consciousness, a higher and more transparent substance replaces old stuff. His former self ceases to exist and is born again at the same time. This occurs in such a slow pace that he may not notice it.
 
Pain alternates with joy.
 
In the inner, vertical aspect of his pilgrimage, he must give up all attachment to “personal” things, both nice and unpleasant. He must live the truth present in the first sentence of chapter 15 in the Dhammapada:
 
“Let us, then, free from hate, live happily among those who hate; among men who hate, let us dwell free from hate.”
 
The path of the pilgrim and the logic of his actions, are given by his own antahkarana, his individual “Jacob’s ladder”. His outward presence in the world is but the shadow of his inner travel from the valley to the mountain, and from the narrow to the wide. The immortal side of his soul shows to him the celestial aspects of all things and beings.
 
The Uphill Path
 
Any search for a direct knowledge of the higher levels of consciousness must take place in individual terms, since the geography of the soul or the structure of consciousness and Karma changes radically from one person to another.
 
Philosophical approaches and the experience of others are useful as sources of inspiration and examples to be followed. Yet the understanding must be one’s own. Right decisions can only result from an independent view, as mere imitations are worse than useless and thinking by oneself is unavoidable.
 
There are no traffic lights and road signs in the transition among states of consciousness. Each student must accumulate his own experience during the process of self-observation. Yet he will find friends along the path, and many of them do not live in his own century. Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746), for instance, made a helpful description of the higher senses of human soul. He used ethics and good will as the criteria of truth: if someone understands transcendent Reality, his ethics and moral sense will show that. [1]
 
A classical approach is available in an article by Damodar Mavalankar [2]. The conscious goal, says Damodar, is to raise the whole of one’s relation to life, meditating 24 hours a day while one’s normal existence goes on and everyday tasks are performed.
 
Once the learner understands the different levels and principles of human consciousness, he starts observing which habits and actions elevate his view of the world and of himself.  He comes to identify the factors that take his attention away from truth. He sees many more things than he previously saw, and pays a price for that: detachment and emotional purification are necessary. He may find it useful to write down the daily record of his efforts.
 
The factors identified as useful to the upward pilgrimage are stimulated in firm or smooth terms, according to circumstances. Detrimental factors are gradually confronted and left aside. This is seldom easy.
 
The challenges vary.
 
There are no magic formulas valid for all occasions. Life does not give the pilgrim necessarily that which he wishes. It offers him what he needs in order to learn and to go ahead in evolution. While abandoning false lights, the pilgrim saves time by obeying his own sense of moral duty.
 
NOTES:
 
[1] An approach to Hutcheson’s writings from a theosophical perspective is available in his article “The Constitution of Human Nature” and in the editorial note to it. 
 
[2] See the article “Contemplation”. Read “Antahkarana, the Bridge to Sky”. A careful contemplative study or second-reading of the first part of “The Secret Doctrine”, volume I, is recommended.
 
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An initial version of the above article is part of the February 2018 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pages 5-6, under the title “The Vertical Side of a Pilgrimage”.  The name of the author is not indicated in that first version. The text was published as an independent item at the associated websites on 05 January 2021.   
 
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Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these words: “Deserve, then desire”.
 
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