More PSYCHIC AND NOETIC (2)
Sep 08, 1995 06:27 PM
Let's see if I can't do any better this time.
Skipping ahead to a good part (in a LONG article)
HPB, "Psychic and Noetic Action"
Having explained in what particulars, and why, as Occultists, we disagree
with materialistic physiological psychology, we may now proceed to point out
the difference between psychic and noetic mental functions, the noetic not
being recognized by official science.
Moreover, we, Theosophists, understand the terms "psychic" and "psychism"
somewhat differently from the average public, science, and even theology, the
latter giving it a significance which both science and Theosophy reject, and
the public in general remaining with a very hazy conception of what is really
meant by the terms. For many, there is little, if any, difference between
"psychic" and "psychological," both words relating in some way to the HUMAN
soul. Some modern metaphysicicans have wisely agreed to disconnect the word
Mind (PNEUMA) from Soul (PSYCHE), the one being the rational, spiritual part,
the other--PSYCHE--the living principle in man, the breath that animates him
(from ANIMA, soul).
Yet if this is so, how in this case refuse a soul to ANIMALS? These are, no
less than man, informed with the same principle of sentient life, the NEPHESH
of the 2nd chapter of Genesis. The Soul is by no means the Mind, nor can an
idiot, bereft of the latter, be called a "soul-less" being. To describe, as
the physiologists do, the human Soul in its relations to senses and
appetites, desires and passions, common to man and the brute, and then endow
it with God-like intellect, with spiritual and rational faculties which can
take their source but in a SUPERSENSIBLE world--is to throw for ever the veil
of an impenetrable mystery ove the subject. Yet in modern science,
"psychology" and "psychism" relate only to conditions of the nervous system,
mental phenomena being traced solely to molecular action. The higher NOETIC
character of the Mind-Principle is entirely ignored, and even rejected as a
"superstition" by both physiologists and psychologists. Psychology, in fact,
has become a synonym in many cases for the science of psychiatry. Therefore,
students of Theosophy being compelled to differ from all these, have adopted
the doctrine that underlies the time-honored philosophies of the East. What
is is, may be found further on.
To better understand the foregoing arguments and those which follow, the
reader is asked to turn to the editorial in the September LUCIFER ("the Dual
Aspect of Wisdom," p. 3), and acquaint himself with the DOUBLE ASPECT of that
which is termed by St. James in his Third Epistle at once--the DEVILISH,
TERRESTRIAL wisdom, and the "wisdom from above." In another editorial,
"Kosmic Mind" (April, 1890), it is also stated, that the ancient Hindus
endowed every cell of the human body with consciousness, giving each the name
of a God or Goddess. Speaking of atoms in the name of science and
philosophy, Professor Ladd calls them in his work "supersensible beings."
Occultism regards every atom (one of the names of Brahma is ANU or "atom")
as an "independent entity" and every cell as a "conscious unit." It explains
that no sooner do such atoms group to form cells, than the latter become
endowed with consciousness, each of its own kind, and with FREE-WILL TO ACT
WITHIN the limits of law. Nor are we entirely deprived of scientific
evidence for such statements are the two above-named editorials well prove.
More than one learned physiologist of the golden minority, in our own day,
moreover, is rapidly coming to the conviction, that memory has no seat, no
special organ of its own in the human brain, but that it has SEATS in every
organ of the body.
"No good ground exists for speaking of any special organ, or seat of memory,"
writes Professor G.T. Ladd. "Every organ indeed, every area, and every limit
of the nervous system has its own memory." (p. 553 loc. cit.)
The seat of memory, then, is assuredly neither here nor there, but everywhere
throughout the human body. To locate its organ in the brain is to limit and
dwarf the Universal Mind and its countless Rays (the MANASA-PUTRA) which
inform every rational mortal. As we write for Theosophists, first of all, we
care little for the psychophobian prejudices of the Materialists who may read
this and sniff contemptusously as the mention of "Universal Mind" as the
Higher NOETIC souls of men. But, what IS memory, we ask. "Both presentation
of sense and image of memory, are transitory phases of consciousness," we are
answered. But what is Consciousness itself?--we ask again. "We cannot
define Consciousness," Professor Ladd tells us.... Hypothesis for
hypothesis, then, we may as well hold to the teachings of our Seers, as to
the conjectures of those who deny both such Seers and their wisdom. ...
Now, since the metaphysics of Occult physiology and psychology postulate
within mortal man an immortal entity, "divine Mind," or NOUS, whose pale and
too often distorted reflection is that which we call "Mind" and intellect in
men--virtually an entity apart from the former during the period of every
incarnation--we say that the TWO sources of "memory" are in these two
"principles." These two we distinguish as the Higher MANAS (Mind or Ego),
and the KAMA-MANAS, i.e. the rational, but earthly or physical intellect of
man, incased in, and bound by, matter, therefore subject to the influence of
the latter: the all-conscious SELF, that which reincarnates
periodically--verily the WORD made flesh!--and which is always the same,
while its reflected "Double," changing with every new incarnation and
personality, is, therefore, conscious but for a life-period. The latter
"principle" is the LOWER Self, or that, which manifesting through our ORGANIC
system, acting on this plane of illusion, imagines itself the EGO SUM, and
thus falls into what Buddhist philosophy brands as the "heresy of
separateness." The former, we term INDIVIDUALITY, the latter, Personality.
From the first proceeds all the NOETIC element, from the second, the
PSYCHIC, i.e. "terrestrial wisdom" at best, as it is influenced by all the
chaotic stimuli of the human or rather ANIMAL PASSIONS of the living body.
The "Higher Ego" cannot act directly on the body, as its consciousness
belongs to quite another plane and planes of ideation; the "lower" SELF does:
and its action and behavior will DEPEND ON ITS FREE WILL AND CHOICE as to
whether it will gravitate more towards its parent ("the Father in Heaven") or
the "animal" which it informs, the man of flesh.
All for now kids, it's 2:30 AM and it's been a long day. Probably more
tomorrow. Is ANY of this article interesting for our discussion? --FEEDBACK
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