Re: Theos-World Re: [Mind and Brain] meaning and information
Jan 24, 2006 06:06 PM
I suppose the answer to all our questions falls back on the theosophical
teaching that consciousness or spirit is a fundamental nature of the universe, and
that every sentient organic or living form has some degree of experiential
consciousness. Although the less organized life forms, which would include the
developing fetus before the full development of its brain-neural system, could
experience and respond to such consciousness only instinctively -- but not
thoughtfully or mindfully -- as HPB implied in your earlier quote from Isis.
The fetus, then, since it does not connect with the lower or higher mind
fields before it had developed an independent existence that has a fully developed
brain, apparently cannot "think," but can only respond reflexively to
external or internal (such as dream) stimuli. If I remember correctly, HPB teaches
that the human being normally does not connect fully with its higher rational
mind until it is at least 3-1/2 to 7 years old. Thus it's consciousness
before that time would be of a very primitive nature, and at the fetal stage would
not be expressed at all (in thoughts as we experience them) except as
fleeting momentary sensations that are responded to instinctively or reflexively.
However, it seems obvious that the reincarnating soul is linked to the
developing fetus right from the zygote, and simply waiting on the sidelines so to
speak, until the growing body has a fully developed brain-mind that is ready to
receive and recognize its individuality or self consciousness. But, before
then, the higher mind is not developed enough to accomplish that until the baby
is long out of the womb, and has had enough time to get used to its newly
awakened external senses, learn to control them, and ultimately, when the brain
has matured sufficiently, link them to its rational mind and recognize its
apparent separation (physically, that is) from the people and things around it.
(Of course, it takes some additional theosophical wisdom to recognize that
illusory condition of separateness for what it really is. :-)
Sure, we cannot "prove" those ideas of fetal consciousness or its soul
connection by conventional scientific or objective means. But, we can assume that
the adept Masters who teach us all, and who are capable of experiencing those
states directly in deep meditation and comparing them with the identical
experiences of many other adepts, can give us all the "proof" we need. Isn't that
the way all theosophical teachings have come down to us through the ages?
All we have to do to fully understand the truth of such teaching and gain our
own proof and conviction, is through practice of that same deep meditation that
will allow us to experience such primitive consciousness for ourselves.
For example, Vipassana meditation, used for self healing by getting in touch
with the instinctive and reflexive consciousness of our cells and organs and
learning how to "speak" to and guide them using our psychic powers of mental
thought form visualization and will, is one method to gain such experiential
proof. (This, however, takes long practice and guidance by an adept teacher.)
I don't know about "consciousness preceding intelligence"... Although if we
consider intelligence as knowledge, that could be the case... Simply because
one can't learn anything unless one is conscious of what's being taught.
However, if we consider intelligence as inherent wisdom, I would assume that, in
the case of the unborn universe or a reincarnated genius or prodigy, both
perceptive consciousness and intelligence are dependently arisen simultaneously at
birth. Yet, with respect to a fetus, we could also say that the primitive
instinctual consciousness was there from its conception long before its later
developing psychic or mental nature could allow it to have access to that
intelligence. So, the answer to your query depends on how we define intelligence
and in what context it's meaning is applied.
Hope this is useful.
In a message dated 1/23/06 7:13:54 PM, email@example.com writes:
> Hi Leon,
> I will need to spend a few days digesting all that you have said. My neural
> connections seem to require this time frame, however my first reaction to
> your statement
> "Or that the lower mental field of the developing fetus can receive impulses
> transmitted to it from the conscious and unconscious thoughts of its
> mother. This could correspond to the reported response of a plant to the loving or
> hateful thoughts directed to it."
> Cass: Doesn't this suggest that some sort of consciousness precedes brain
> function? All of the bodies, higher mental, lower mental, astral, and
> etheric are waiting on the threshold to animate the foetus. Perhaps as you say,
> the foetus, dreams because of its formed astral body, perhaps also it is able
> to think, prior to the formation of the brain, because of its lower/higher
> mental body.
> "The soul, says Porphyry, having even after death a certain affection for
> its body, an affinity proportioned to the violence with which their union was
> broken". IU
> Cass: Perhaps the soul has an affinity for its physical form in the womb?
> Unfortunately if this is the case it can never be proven at a scientific
> I read in Isis or SD that consciousness precedes intelligence, will need to
> do a bit of research today.
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