Many birthmarks in reincarnation cases reflect fatal wounds, but they may also commemorate the scars of healed wounds, as in the Gilyak example cited earlier, and many other things, among them rope indentations, tattoos, styes, and ulcers. Birthmarks are not the only physical features involved in reincarnation. These defects may be internal as well as external. An American boy who recalled being a policeman who died after being shot in the chest was born with severe heart disease. Girls who remember being boys or men may be of relatively large stature and their menarche may be delayed.
Gillian and Jennifer Pollock closely resembled each other when young, but only Jennifer had birthmarks. One matched a scar the sister whose life she recalled had had had, the result of an accident when she was three two years before her death and another was a mole on her waist where she had had a mole.
Birthmarks and birth defects may be planned and deliberately induced. A Tlingit man said before his death that he would be recognized by certain marks on his next body and these appeared on Corliss Chotkin, Jr. The birthmarks that correspond to these marks are called experimental birthmarks. In West Africa, a family that has lost several children in a row sometimes mutilate the body of the last to die in order to prevent it from dying young again and corresponding defects turn up on the body of the next child born into the family, which often lives into adulthood.
More information on these practices is contained in Experimental Birthmarks and Birth Defects. Intermission memories have a similar structure cross-culturally, but there are both similarities and differences in content. The intermission may be broken down into five stages, the first three of which are similar to the stages of the near-death experience. The second stage is more stable and often passes in a fixed location. The third stage involves choosing parents for the new life. The fourth stage covers the period of gestation in the womb, and the fifth, birth and its immediate aftermath.
Although most of what is said about the intermission cannot be confirmed, there may be veridical perceptions of the material world at every stage. Case subjects everywhere talk about seeing and interacting with other spirit entities, who are identified in cultural terms, i. The most striking difference, however, is in where the intermission transpires. Whereas Westerners imagine it taking place in a Heaven above, Asians describe it as passing in realistic terrestrial setting. Researchers have examined the psychology of children with past-life memories in comparison with their peers without past-life memories and looked at how the memories change as the case subjects age.
Factors on the sides of both the previous person and the case subject come into play in past-life memory. Psychological studies using standard psychological testing instruments have found that children with past-life memories are no more suggestible than their peers and although they have some dissociative tendencies they tend to have rapid changes in personality and daydream more , these are not pathological.
Children with past-life memories have a higher level of cognitive functioning and do better than their peers in school; as a group, they are gifted children. These results have emerged from studies in the United States as well as in Sri Lanka and Lebanon. They are more nervous and stubborn, argue more, and tend to be more perfectionistic. Erlendur Haraldsson, who conducted these studies, observes that many of these traits are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, consistent with the fact of a large number of violent-death cases in these cultures. As they grow older, children with past-life memories become better adjusted.
Teachers do not report the same social difficulties parents do. Although these issues need to be clarified in future research, it appears that the problems may recede as the children grow older, leaving longer-term benefits. Subjects begin speaking about previous lives at different ages, most often , but developmental factors are involved in their expression.
Past-life memories at all ages may be triggered by things the subject sees or hears, but these cues are more evident and appear to play a bigger role with older subjects. Factors affecting past-life memory besides the manner of death of the previous person include the sense of unfinished business, such as women who die leaving young children in need of care, businessmen who die with unpaid or uncollected debts, and persons who die without having told others where valuables are hidden.
Natural deaths in old age are often associated with meditation. If they do, there is something that needs to be explained. Antonia Mills attempted to assign probabilities to several statements made by an Indian boy, Ajendra Singh Chauhan, but gave up the task when she realized that she needed to estimate not only the probability of individual statements, but all of them in combination. The entire constellation of evidence must show a good fit for a case to be considered solved. The patternicity appears to Shermer precisely because he has not read deeply.
In general, sceptical charges against Stevenson fail not because they have no foundation, but because they are exaggerated and over-generalized and do not take into account the full range of his research methods and findings. An abbreviated version of the Ransom Report, as it has come to be called in skeptical circles, has now been published, and we can see what it says. However, these issues would carry more weight if they were ones Stevenson had not previously considered, yet he acknowledged and addressed these and many other potential pitfalls in the opening chapter of Twenty Cases, well before Ransom brought them to his attention.
In this, Rogo does a better job than Ransom. Drawing on four additional volumes of case reports Stevenson had published by , Rogo centers his attention on four cases in which he has detected problems. Stevenson then showed her his sketch, and the woman said that the wound was in the place marked. He notes that Stevenson is sensitive to this possibility, but considers that he has been too quick to dismiss dissident witnesses. More recently, Angel has severely criticized Stevenson for his handling of the Imad Elawar case.
What should be a strength of the case—the written record made before verification—is problematic for Angel, who believes that Stevenson selected which information to credit and which not. There are fewer strong reincarnation cases reported from Western than Asian countries, but it would be wrong to call Western cases rare. Muller, Stevenson, and Tucker, among others, have reported solved Western cases.
Furthermore, in the West, cases do not occur only among sub-cultures with a belief in reincarnation, as is sometimes alleged. A more sophisticated version of the cultural conditioning argument holds that because certain features of the cases, such as sex-change, are correlated with beliefs in a given culture, the cases must be a product of cultural demands.
The Druze believe that one is reborn immediately upon death, into the body of a child born at that moment, but although the median intermission length in solved Druze cases is shorter than most other cultures—six to eight months long—it is not immediate. No cases of immediate reincarnation have been reported among the Druze. The Druze response to this awkward situation is to assert that there must have been brief lives that were not recalled. In a survey in northern India, Satwant Pasricha and David Barker discovered that information about cases rarely travelled far and therefore could not serve as a model for other cases.
Many cases had unique characteristics that could not be explained on the diffusion hypothesis, in any event. Stevenson proposed a different way of understanding why case features sometimes reflect cultural ideals. If the mind survives death, it would be natural for the beliefs and expectations held in life to be carried into death. A person who died believing he could not change sex in his next life might avoid doing so.
Social construction has to do with the way witnesses interpret case features in line with their beliefs. There is no doubt that this happens sometimes, as Stevenson showed in a series of cases demonstrating delusion and self-delusion. Antonia Mills has supplied another example. A month-old India boy, Sakte Lal, mispronounced some crucial names when he first spoke them.
He said he had been named Avari rather than Itwari, that Avari had been murdered by Vishnu rather than Kishnu, and that he was from Amalpur rather than Jamalpur. His mispronunciations might have been baby talk, but a less charitable view would be that the social construction of his case began with a re-interpretation of the names to make them fit a locally well-known murder.
Mills demonstrates this in an analysis of a videotaped series of recognition tests with Satke Lal. Although the boy made a few spontaneous recognitions on tape, more often he was either mistaken or led to the correct answer by onlookers. Despite the obvious coaching, he was judged to have passed the tests, and his past-life identity was considered confirmed. Mills comments on the emotional involvement of all concerned and says that Sakte Lal was consistently addressed as if he were the reincarnation of the putative previous person, reinforcing the identification.
Skeptics have often used the case of Rakesh Gaur as an example of social construction processes, but the evidence is less clear-cut here. Satwant Pasricha and David Barker investigated this case together, but came to different conclusions about it. Barker thought that the identification of the previous person was made by chance, and once made, the memories of informants changed to support this identification. Most cases with great disparities between lives are in India and Sri Lanka, where according to Hindu and Buddhist reincarnation beliefs, a previous life in better circumstances would imply a karmic demotion into the present life.
It seems unlikely that children would reap much benefit from such a claim, much less that their parents would encourage it. Nonetheless, Stevenson regularly considered cryptomnesia as a possibility and looked for links, not at first obvious, between the present and previous families. Sometimes he discovered that there had been contacts, even when the two families denied knowing each other, and certainly were not well acquainted.
Stevenson doubted that they could have. It was not so with other memory disturbances, such as paramnesia , a term often used loosely to indicate any distortion and inaccuracy in memory. Stevenson considered paramnesia to be of great potential importance. Stevenson showed that memory distortions may occur both with the case subjects and with the adult witnesses to what a child has said. Adult witnesses may have faulty memories as well, which is one reason that Stevenson interviewed as many first-hand witnesses to a case he could find and went back to them repeatedly over periods of years in order to check for consistency.
He reported and evaluated all inconsistencies carefully. Although he acknowledged the possibility of social construction in some cases, he judged this an inadequate explanation for his stronger cases. A study comparing cases with and without such written records found that more statements were recorded, yet the percentage of correct statements was equally high, in cases with prior written records as in cases without them.
The early Christian theologian Tertullian was the first person to raise one of the most common philosophical objections to reincarnation, that of reconciling it with population growth. It is manifest, Tertullian said, that the dead are formed from the living, but it does not follow therefrom that the living are formed from the dead; if they were, there should be a constant number of people on earth, but then why was the population increasing?
New human souls might enter the system in several different ways, including being promoted up to human form from nonhuman animals. Tertullian also asked, Why do people die at different stages of life, yet always return as infants? Would not those who died in old age pick up where they left off in their next lives? In any event, case studies provide numerous examples of children behaving as if they were the adults they recalled having been. Tertullian set up a Straw Man version of reincarnation, to which he addressed his questions.
The same is true of Edwards. As Almeder observes, Edwards attacks a conception of reincarnation that does not match any particular belief system, but appears to be constructed solely for the purpose of ridicule. He finds logical problems with both and thinks that he has thereby disposed of the possibility of reincarnation. However, neither karma nor subtle bodies are required by reincarnation, as evidenced by the many belief systems that make do with neither.
A minimalist concept of reincarnation that does not involve these ideas, moreover, receives good support from the case data. Her beliefs shape the way she treats her child and are conveyed to him, so that he grows up imagining he has lived before. Satwant Pasricha examined the possibility of parental guidance in two studies, finding support for it in neither.
Parental guidance is assumed by many critics to be an important factor in the cases but it is most likely to come into play when the purported previous person is well-known, as in two cases exposed by Stevenson and his colleagues. In one of these, a Turkish Alevi child was identified by his parents as the reincarnation of John F.
Kennedy on the basis of a dream and a birthmark. The boy was named Kenedi and grew up hearing that he was Kennedy reborn. In another case, an Indian child was told by his parents that he was Mahatma Gandhi reborn. Recognizing this, Stevenson considered the possibility that the children might be using extra-sensory perception ESP to learn about deceased persons. He could not see how ESP alone could account for the behavioural correspondences in many cases and so considered ESP plus personation, the internalization and mobilization of ESP impressions necessary to impersonate the previous person.
Even this was not enough to explain the psychological continuity children felt with the previous persons or their use of the first person in narrating their memories. In many cases, the information the children produced did not reside in the mind of any single living person and so would have had to have been assembled from multiple sources.
There was also the question of motivation—why did the child zero in psychically on this particular deceased person rather than another? Another problem with the ESP or psi explanation is that when and how children express their memories more closely resembles memory than psi. These difficulties have not kept some parapsychologically-oriented critics from favoring a psi explanation of the cases. Chari thought that psi might become involved in paramnesia as well as less distorted memories. Unusually extensive or complex psi is called super-psi , because it is beyond anything that has been reported in spontaneous cases or demonstrated in laboratory experiments.
Stephen Braude , especially, has been keen on arguing for the possibility of a complex super-psi as a way of explaining reincarnation case phenomena. Braude believes that super-psi deployed in altered states of consciousness could explain not only how children are accessing information about deceased persons but also how they are acquiring language and other skills. Maternal impression is the idea that the thoughts and feelings of a pregnant woman can affect the development of the child in her womb.
This explanation works best when the mother was aware of a wound or other scar on the previous person and was shocked by it. One is that past-life memories are typically autobiographical memories about a specific previous person, not the sort of instinctive actions that may be encoded in the genome of a species, presumably for the survival advantages they confer.
Moreover, in many cases, there are no genetic connections between the children and the persons whose life they remember. Also, genetic memory could not account for memories of deaths, which are very common, nor could it account for memories of persons who died without progeny. Whately Carington was a psychical researcher who studied mediums and wrote theoretical works on telepathy and postmortem survival.
Psychon systems survived the death of the body and might connect with other psychon systems through processes of affinity, rather as in psychometry. Carington used his theory to explain various sorts of psychic and survival phenomena, including mind-to-mind communication, mediumship, and apparitions, but he wrote before Stevenson had begun his research with reincarnation cases and so did not attempt to relate it to past-life memory. In fact, he said, the cases provided plenty of evidence of a more robust survival of personality, behaviours, and emotions, for which he had been unprepared when he began his research.
Apparently Stevenson was persuaded for philosophical reasons that he had to provide a subtle body to support consciousness between lives. James Matlock has suggested an alternative conception of how reincarnation works. When the incoming mind does displace another mind, and remains in control of the body thereafter, Matlock calls this replacement reincarnation.
Replacement reincarnation may occur either before or after birth. If the possession is not permanent but transient or temporary, as in mediumistic or spirit possession or the thirteen-week possession of Lurancy Vennum , Matlock calls this possession. The difference between whether a given case is one of possession or reincarnation is a matter of whether the possession is temporary or long-term.
Stevenson marshalled a great deal of evidence that a mind could directly influence its body, which it should be able to do without the mediation of a psychophore, Matlock points out, and if there is no psychophore, one does not have to explain what happens to it when the mind joins the body after conception.
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Journal of Near-Death Studies, 35 4 , Signs of Reincarnation online seminar course. Affirmations and Denials. Cure of Diseases, The. Replanting Diseases for Future Use. Why Yoga Practice Is Dangerous. Theosophic Diet. Answers to Questioners. Enquirer, The. The Stream of Thought and Queries. Questions and Answers.
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Rig-Veda on Gambling. Culled from Aryan Science. A Prophecy about Theosophy. The Press and Occultism. The Screen of Time. Theosophy A Letter from a Friend. Word on Pronouns, A. About Killing Animals. Formation of Crystals, The. The Secret Doctrine and Physiology. Chat with Correspondents, A. The Path. Year on the Path, A. The Second Year. Two Years on the Path. The Third Year. The Paths Fifth Year.
Fifteen Years Ago. Six Years Gone. Seven steps Forward. Seven Years Gone. Work Since May, The. The Test of Theosophic Interest. Circulating Library, A. Theosophical Tracts. Correspondence Staff. The New "Department of Branch Work". Committee Work. Oriental Department, The. General Secretary's Tour, The. The Press Scheme. The Theosophical Congress. Theosophical Correspondence Class. Change of Name. THE claim is made that an impartial study of history, religion and literature will show the existence from ancient times of a great body of philosophical, scientific and ethical doctrine forming the basis and origin of all similar thought in modern systems.
It is at once religious and scientific, asserting that religion and science should never be separated. It puts forward sublime religious and ideal teachings, but at the same time shows that all of it can be demonstrated to reason, and that authority other than that has no place, thus preventing the hypocrisy which arises from asserting dogmas on authority which no one can show as resting on reason.
This ancient body of doctrine is known as the "Wisdom Religion" and was always taught by adepts or initiates therein who preserve it through all time. Hence, and from other doctrines demonstrated, it is shown that man, being spirit and immortal, is able to perpetuate his real life and consciousness, and has done so during all time in the persons of those higher flowers of the human race who are members of an ancient and high brotherhood who concern themselves with the soul development of man, held by them to include every process of evolution on all planes.
The initiates, being bound by the law of evolution, must work with humanity as its development permits. Therefore from time to time they give out again and again the same doctrine which from time to time grows obscured in various nations and places. This is the wisdom religion, and they are the keepers of it. At times they come to nations as great teachers and "saviours," who only re-promulgate the old truths and system of ethics.
This therefore holds that humanity is capable of infinite perfection both in time p. From this living and presently acting body of perfected men H. Blavatsky declared she received the impulse to once more bring forward the old ideas, and from them also received several keys to ancient and modern doctrines that had been lost during modern struggles toward civilization, and also that she was furnished by them with some doctrines really ancient but entirely new to the present day in any exoteric shape.
These she wrote among the other keys furnished by her to her fellow members and the world at large.
Added, then, to the testimony through all time found in records of all nations we have this modern explicit assertion that the ancient learned and humanitarian body of adepts still exists on this earth and takes an interest in the development of the race. Theosophy postulates an eternal principle called the unknown, which can never be cognized except through its manifestations. This eternal principle is in and is every thing and being; it periodically and eternally manifests itself and recedes again from manifestation.
In this ebb and flow evolution proceeds and itself is the progress of the manifestation. The perceived universe is the manifestation of this unknown, including spirit and matter, for Theosophy holds that those are but the two opposite poles of the one unknown principle. They coexist, are not separate nor separable from each other, or, as the Hindu scriptures say, there is no particle of matter without spirit, and no particle of spirit without matter. In manifesting itself the spirit-matter differentiates on seven planes, each more dense on the way down to the plane of our senses than its predecessor, the substance in all being the same only differing in degree.
Therefore from this view the whole universe is alive, not one atom of it being in any sense dead. It is also conscious and intelligent, its consciousness and intelligence being present on all planes though obscured on this one. On this plane of ours the spirit focalizes itself in all human beings who choose to permit it to do so, and the refusal to permit it is the cause of ignorance, of sin, of all sorrow and suffering.
This is the destiny of all beings, and hence at the outset Theosophy postulates this perfectibility of the race, removes the idea of innate unregenerable wickedness, and offers a purpose and an aim for life which is consonant with the longings of the soul and with its real nature, tending at the same time to destroy pessimism with its companion, despair. In Theosophy the world is held to be the product of the evolution of the principle spoken of from the very lowest first forms of life guided as it proceeded by intelligent perfected beings from other and older evolutions, and compounded also of the egos or individual spirits for and by whom it emanates.
Hence man as we know him is held to be a conscious spirit, the flower of evolution, with other and lower classes of egos below him in the lower kingdoms, all however coming up and destined one day to be on the same human stage as we now are, we then being higher still. Man's consciousness being thus more perfect is able to pass from one to another of the planes of differentiation mentioned. If he mistakes any one of them for the reality that he is in his essence, he is deluded; the object of evolution then is to give him complete self-consciousness so that he may go on to higher stages in the progress of the universe.
His evolution after coming on the human stage is for the getting of experience, and in order to so raise up and purify the various planes of matter with which he has to do, that the voice of the spirit may be fully heard and comprehended. He is a religious being because he is a spirit encased in matter, which is in turn itself spiritual in essence. Being a spirit he requires vehicles with which to come in touch with all the planes of nature included in evolution, and it is these vehicles that make of him an intricate, composite being, liable to error, but at the same time able to rise above all delusions and conquer the highest place.
He is in miniature the universe, for he p. Therefore is he known in Theosophy as a sevenfold being. The Christian division of body, soul, and spirit is accurate so far as it goes, but will not answer to the problems of life and nature, unless, as is not the case, those three divisions are each held to be composed of others, which would raise the possible total to seven. The spirit stands alone at the top, next comes the spiritual soul or Buddhi as it is called in Sanskrit.
This partakes more of the spirit than any below it, and is connected with Manas or mind, these three being the real trinity of man, the imperishable part, the real thinking entity living on the earth in the other and denser vehicles by its evolution. Below in order of quality is the plane of the desires and passions shared with the animal kingdom, unintelligent, and the producer of ignorance flowing from delusion.
It is distinct from the will and judgment, and must therefore be given its own place. On this plane is gross life, manifesting, not as spirit from which it derives its essence, but as energy and motion on this plane. It being common to the whole objective plane and being everywhere, is also to be classed by itself, the portion used by man being given up at the death of the body.
Then last, before the objective body, is the model or double of the outer physical case. This double is the astral body belonging to the astral plane of matter, not so dense as physical molecules, but more tenuous and much stronger, as well as lasting. It is the original of the body permitting the physical molecules to arrange and show themselves thereon, allowing them to go and come from day to day as they are known to do, yet ever retaining the fixed shape and contour given by the astral double within.
These lower four principles or sheaths are the transitory perishable part of man, not himself, but in every sense the instrument he uses, given up at the hour of death like an old garment, and rebuilt out of the general reservoir at every new birth. The trinity is the real man, the thinker, the individuality that passes from house to house, gaining experience at each rebirth, while it suffers and enjoys according to its deeds - it is the one central man, the living spirit-soul.
The doctrine of reincarnation does all this. It means that man as a thinker, composed of soul, mind and spirit, occupies body after body in life after life on the earth which is the scene of his evolution, and where he must, under the very laws of his being, complete that evolution, once it has been begun. In any one life he is known to others as a personality, but in the whole stretch of eternity he is one individual, feeling in himself an identity not dependent on name, form, or recollection.
This doctrine is the very base of Theosophy, for it explains life and nature. It is one aspect of evolution, for as it is re-embodiment in meaning, and as evolution could not go on without re-embodiment, it is evolution itself, as applied to the human soul. But it is also a doctrine believed in at the time given to Jesus and taught in the early ages of Christianity, being now as much necessary to that religion as it is to any other to explain texts, to reconcile the justice of God with the rough and merciless aspect of nature and life to most mortals, and to throw a light perceptible by reason on all the problems that vex us in our journey through this world.
The vast, and under any other doctrine unjust, difference between the savage and the civilized man as to both capacity, character, and opportunity can be understood only through this doctrine, and coming to our own stratum the differences of the same kind may only thus be explained. It vindicates Nature and God, and removes from religion the blot thrown by men who have postulated creeds which paint the creator as a demon. Each man's life and character are the outcome of his previous lives and thoughts. Each is his own judge, his own executioner, for it is his own hand that forges the weapon which works for his punishment, and each by his own life reaches reward, rises to heights of knowledge and power for the good of all who may p.
Nothing is left to chance, favor, or partiality, but all is under the governance of law. Man is a thinker, and by his thoughts he makes the causes for woe or bliss; for his thoughts produce his acts. He is the centre for any disturbance of the universal harmony, and to him as the centre the disturbance must return so as to bring about equilibrium, for nature always works towards harmony. Man is always carrying on a series of thoughts, which extend back to the remote past, continually making action and reaction.
He is thus responsible for all his thoughts and acts, and in that his complete responsibility is established; his own spirit is the essence of this law and provides for ever compensation for every disturbance and adjustment for all effects. This is the law of Karma or justice, sometimes called the ethical law of causation. It is not foreign to the Christian scriptures, for both Jesus and St. Paul clearly enunciated it.
Jesus said we should be judged as we gave judgment and should receive the measure meted to others. Paul said: "Brethren, be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap. But what of death and after? Is heaven a place or is it not? Theosophy teaches, as may be found in all sacred books, that after death the soul reaps a rest. This is from its own nature. It is a thinker, and cannot during life fulfill and carry out all nor even a small part of the myriads of thoughts entertained. Hence when at death it casts off the body and the astral body, and is released from the passions and desires, its natural forces have immediate sway and it thinks its thoughts out on the soul plane, clothed in a finer body suitable to that existence.
This is called Devachan. It is the very state that has brought about the descriptions of heaven common to all religions, but this doctrine is very clearly put in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is a time of rest, because the physical body being absent the consciousness is not in the completer touch with visible nature which is possible on the material plane. But it is a real existence, and no more illusionary than earth life; it p. When the force of these thoughts is fully exhausted the soul is drawn back once more to earth, to that environment which is sufficiently like unto itself to give it the proper further evolution.
This alternation from state to state goes on until the being rises from repeated experiences above ignorance, and realizes in itself the actual unity of all spiritual beings. Then it passes on to higher and greater steps on the evolutionary road. No new ethics are presented by Theosophy, as it is held that right ethics are for ever the same. But in the doctrines of Theosophy are to be found the philosophical and reasonable basis for ethics and the natural enforcement of them in practice.
Universal brotherhood is that which will result in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and in your loving your neighbour as yourself - declared as right by all teachers in the great religions of the world. The mistake is being made by a great many persons, among them being Theosophists, of applying several of the doctrines current in Theosophical literature, to only one or two phases of a question or to only one thing at a time, limiting rules which have universal application to a few cases, when in fact all those doctrines which have been current in the East for so long a time should be universally applied.
For instance, take the law of Karma. Some people say, "yes, we believe in that," but they only apply it to human beings. They consider it only in its relation to their own acts or to the acts of all men. Sometimes they fail to see that it has its effect not only on themselves and their fellows, but as well on the greatest of Mahatmas. Those great Beings are not exempt from it; in fact they are, so to say, more bound by it than we are. Although they are said to be above Karma, this is only to be taken to mean that, having escaped from the wheel of Samsara which means the wheel of life and death, or rebirths , and in that sense are above Karma, at the same time we will find them often unable to act in a given case.
If they have transcended Karma, how can it be possible that in any instance they may not break the law, or perform certain acts which to us seem to be proper at just that juncture? Why can they not, say in the case of a chela who has worked for them and for the cause, for years with the most exalted unselfishness, interfere and save him from suddenly falling or being overwhelmed by horrible misfortune; or interfere to help or direct a movement?
It is because they have become part of the great law of Karma itself. It would be impossible for them to lift a finger. Again, we know that at a certain period of progress, far p. The mere formulation of the wish is enough. At that moment he becomes one of the Devas. He then for a period of time which in its extent is incalculable, enjoys that condition--then what? Then he has to begin again low down in the scale, in a mode and for a purpose which it would be useless to detail here, because it could not be understood, and also because I am not able to put it in any language with which I am conversant.
In this, then, is not this particular adept who thus fell, subject to the law of Karma? There is in the Hindoo books a pretty story which illustrates this. A certain man heard that every day a most beautiful woman rose up out of the sea, and combed her hair. He resolved that he would go to see her. He went, and she rose up as usual. He sprang into the sea behind her, and with her went down to her abode. There he lived with her for a vast length of time.
One day she said she had to go away and stated that he must not touch a picture which was on the wall, and then departed. In a few days, fired by curiosity, he went to look at the picture; saw that it was an enameled one of a most ravishingly beautiful person, and he put out his hand to touch it. At that moment the foot of the figure suddenly enlarged, flew out from the frame, and sent him back to the scenes of earth, where he met with only sorrow and trouble. The law of Karma must be applied to everything. Nothing is exempt from it. It rules the vital molecule from plant up to Brahma himself.
Apply it then to the vegetable, animal and human kingdom alike. This is not to be confined only to the souls and bodies of men. Why not use it for every branch of nature to which it may be applicable? Not only are we, men and women, reincarnated; but also every molecule of which our bodies are composed. In what way, then, can we connect this rule with all of our thoughts? Does p. It seems to me that it does, and with as much force as anywhere. Each thought is of definite length. It does not last for over what we may call an instant, but the time of its duration is in fact much shorter.
It springs into life and then it dies; but it is at once reborn in the form of another thought. And thus the process goes on from moment to moment, from hour to hour, from day to day. And each one of these reincarnated thoughts lives its life, some good, some bad, some so terrible in their nature that if we could see them we would shrink back in affright.
Further than that, a number of these thoughts form themselves into a certain idea, and it dies to be reincarnated in its time. Thus on rolls this vast flood. Will it overwhelm us? It may; it often does. Let us then make our thoughts pure. Our thoughts are the matrix, the mine, the fountain, the source of all that we are and of all that we may be. J UDGE. The Occult Word , May, DURING the last few years in which so much writing has been done in the theosophical field of effort, a failure to make broad or universal applications of the doctrines brought forward can be noticed.
With the exception of H. Blavatsky, our writers have confined themselves to narrow views, chiefly as to the state of man after death or how Karma affects him in life. As to the latter law, the greatest consideration has been devoted to deciding how it modifies our pleasure or our pain, and then as to whether in Devachan there will be compensation for failures of Karma; while others write upon reincarnation as if only mankind were subject to that law.
And the same limited treatment is adopted in treating of or practicing many other theories and doctrines of the Wisdom Religion. After fourteen years of activity it is now time that the members of our society should make universal the application of each and every admitted doctrine or precept, and not confine them to their own selfish selves. In order to make my meaning clear I purpose in this paper to attempt an outline of how such universal applications of some of our doctrines should be made.
Before taking up any of these I would draw the attention of those who believe in the Upanishads to the constant insistence throughout those sacred books upon the identity of man with Brahma, or God, or nature, and to the universal application of all doctrines or laws. This, thy Self who is within all. He who breathes in the up-breathing, he is thy Self and within all. He who breathes in the down-breathing, he is thy Self and within all.
He who breathes in the on-breathing, he is thy Self and within all. This is thy Self who is within all. The 6th Brahmana is devoted to showing that all the worlds are woven in and within each other; and in the 7th the teacher declares that "the puller" or mover in all things whatsoever is the same Self which is in each man. The questioners then proceed and draw forth the statement that "what is above the heavens, beneath the earth, embracing heaven and earth, past, present, and future, that is woven, like warp and woof, in the ether," and that the ether is "woven like warp and woof in the Imperishable.
And we find these sturdy men of old applying their doctrines in every direction. They use the laws of analogy and correspondences to solve deep questions. Why need we be behind them? If the entire great Self dwells in man, the body in all its parts must symbolize the greater world about. So we discover that space having sound as its distinguishing characteristic is figured in the human frame by the ear, as fire is by the eye, and, again, the eye showing forth the soul, for the soul alone conquers death, and that which in the Upanishads conquers death is fire.
It is possible in this manner to proceed steadily toward the acquirement of a knowledge of the laws of nature, not only those that are recondite, but also the more easily perceived. If we grant that the human body and organs are a figure, in little, of the universe, then let us ask the question, "By what is the astral light symbolized?
On the astral light are received the pictures of all events and things, and on the retina are received p. We find that these images on the retina remain for a specific period, capable of measurement, going through certain changes before fading completely away. Let us extend the result of this observation to the astral light, and we assume that it also goes through similar changes in respect to the pictures. From this it follows that the mass or totality of pictures made during any cycle must, in this great retina, have a period at the end of which they will have faded away.
Such we find is the law as stated by those who know the Secret Doctrine. In order to arrive at the figures with which to represent this period, we have to calculate the proportion thus: as the time of fading from the human retina is to the healthy mans actual due of life, so is the time of fading from the astral light. The missing term may be discovered by working upon the doctrine of the four yugas or ages and the length of one life of Brahma.
Now these theosophical doctrines which we have been at such pains to elaborate during all the years of our history are either capable of universal application or they are not. If they are not, then they are hardly worth the trouble we have bestowed upon them; and it would then have been much better for us had we devoted ourselves to some special departments of science.
But the great allurement that theosophy holds for those who follow it is that its doctrines are universal, solving all questions and applying to every department of nature so far as we know it. And advanced students declare that the same universal application prevails in regions far beyond the grasp of present science or of the average mans mind.
So that, if a supposed law or application is formulated to us, either by ourselves or by some other person, we are at once able to prove it; for unless it can be applied in every direction--by correspondence, or is found to be one of the phases of some previously-admitted doctrine, we know that it is false doctrine or inaccurately stated. Thus all our doctrines can be proved and checked at every step. It is not necessary for us to have constant communications with the Adepts in order to make sure of our ground; p.
Bearing this in mind, we can confidently proceed to examine the great ideas in which so many of us believe, with a view of seeing how they may be applied in every direction. For if, instead of selfishly considering these laws in their effect upon our miserable selves, we ask how they apply everywhere, a means is furnished for the broadening of our horizon and the elimination of selfishness.
And when also we apply the doctrines to all our acts and to all parts of the human being, we may begin to wake ourselves up to the real task set before us. Let us look at Karma. It must be applied not only to the man but also to the Cosmos, to the globe upon which he lives. You know that, for the want of an English word, the period of one great day of evolution is called a Manwantara, or the reign of one Manu. These eternally succeed each other. In other words, each one of us is a unit, or a cell, if you please.
And when I say "we," I mean all the beings on whatever plane or planet who are included in that Manwantara. Therefore this Manwantara is just exactly what the last Manwantara made it, and so the next Manwantara after this millions of years off-- will be the sum or result of this one, plus all that have preceded it. How much have you thought upon the effect of Karma upon the animals, the plants, the minerals, the elemental beings?
Have you been so selfish as to suppose that they are not affected by you? Is it true that man himself has no responsibility upon him for the vast numbers of ferocious and noxious animals, for the deadly serpents and scorpions, the devastating lions and tigers, that make a howling wilderness of some corners of the earth and terrorize the people of India and else- p. It cannot be true.
But as the Apostle of the Christians said, it is true that the whole of creation waits upon man and groans that he keeps back the enlightenment of all. What happens when, with intention, you crush out the life of a common croton bug? Well, it is destroyed and you forget it.
Believe that you are gods, and then, after experience and attainment, you will have a place consciously in the great Brotherhood which governs the entire world, but cannot go against the law. In a former article man was shown to be a series of almost innumerable "Lives," and these lives, these living entities called "cells," were shown to be associated together on the principle of hierarchies, grouped according to rank and order, service and development, and this was shown to be the "physical synthesis" of man, and the organic synthesis as well. Why are millions trampled underfoot? It turned out to be his last illness and he lasted only three weeks in hospital. Not so with your writing! Negative sensation is beyond three dimension. Reprinted in J.
But you brought it to an untimely end, short though its life would have been. Imagine this being done at hundreds of thousands of places in the State. Each of these little creatures had life and energy; each some degree of intelligence. The sum total of the effects of all these deaths of small things must be appreciable. If not, then our doctrines are wrong and there is no wrong in putting out the life of a human being. Let us go a little higher, to the bird kingdom and that of four-footed beasts. Every day in the shooting season in England vast quantities of birds are killed for sport, and in other places such intelligent and inoffensive animals as deer.
These have a higher intelligence than insects, a wider scope of feeling. Is there no effect under Karma for all these deaths? And what is the difference between wantonly killing a deer and murdering an idiot? Very little to my mind. Why is it, then, that even delicate ladies will enjoy the recital of a bird or deer hunt? It is their Karma that they are the descendants of long generations of Europeans who some centuries ago, with the aid of the church, decided that animals had no souls and therefore could be wantonly slaughtered. The same Karma permits the grandson of the Queen of England who calls herself the defender of the faith--of Jesus--to have great preparations made for his forth-coming visit to India to the end that he shall enjoy several weeks of tiger-hunting, pig-sticking, and the destruction of any and every bird that may fly in his way.
We therefore find ourselves ground down by the Karma of our national stem, so that we are really almost unable to tell what thoughts are the counterfeit presentments of the thoughts of our forefathers, and what self-born in our own minds. Let us now look at Reincarnation, Devachan, and Karma. But what of its hourly and daily application? If we believe in the doctrine of the One Life, then every cell in these material bodies must be governed by the same laws. Each cell must be a life and have its karma, devachan, and reincarnation.
Everyone of these cells upon incarnating among the others in our frame must be affected by the character of those it meets; and we make that character. Every thought upon reaching its period dies. It is soon reborn, and coming back from its devachan it finds either bad or good companions provided for it. Therefore every hour of life is fraught with danger or with help. How can it be possible that a few hours a week devoted to theosophic thought and action can counteract-- even in the gross material cells the effect of nearly a whole week spent in indifference, frivolity, or selfishness?
This mass of poor or bad thought will form a resistless tide that shall sweep away all your good resolves at the first opportunity. This will explain why devoted students often fail. They have waited for a particular hour or day to try their strength, and when the hour came they had none. If it was anger they had resolved to conquer, instead of trying to conquer it at an offered opportunity they ran away from the chance so as to escape the trial; or they did not meet the hourly small trials that would, if successfully passed, have given them a great reserve of strength, so that no time of greater trial would have been able to overcome them.
Now as to the theory of the evolution of the macrocosm in its application to the microcosm, man. The hermetic philosophy held that man is a copy of the greater universe; that he is a little universe in himself, governed by the same laws as the great one, and in the small proportions of a human being showing all those greater laws in operation, only reduced in time or sweep.
This is the rule to which H. Blavatsky adheres, and which is found running through all the ancient mysteries and initiations. In any period of such struggle some of these atoms or collections of molecules are left over, as it were, to renew the battle in the next period, and hence the state of the universe at any time of manifestation or the state of each newly-manifested universe--must be the result of what was done in the preceding period.
Coming down to the man, we find that he is a collection of molecules or lives or cells, each striving with the other, and all affected for either good or bad results by the spiritual aspirations or want of them in the man who is the guide or god, so to say, of his little universe. When he is born, the molecules or cells or lives that are to compose his physical and astral forms are from that moment under his reign, and during the period of his smaller life they pass through a small manvantara just as the lives in the universe do, and when he dies he leaves them all impressed with the force and color of his thoughts and aspirations, ready to be used in composing the houses of other egos.
Now here is a great responsibility revealed to us of a double character. The first is for effects produced on and left in what we call matter in the molecules, when they come to be used by other egos, for they must act upon the latter for benefit or the reverse. The second is for the effect on the molecules themselves in this, that there are lives or entities in all--or rather they are all lives--who are either aided or retarded in their evolution by reason of the proper or improper use man made of this matter that was placed in his charge.
Without stopping to argue about what matter is, it will be sufficient to state that it is held to be co-eternal with what is called "spirit. But of course this matter we speak of is not what we see about us, for the latter is only in fact phenomena of matter: even science holds that we do not really see matter. Now during a manvantara or period of manifestation, the egos incarnating must use over and over again in any world upon which they are incarnating the matter that belongs to it. So, therefore, we are now using in our incarnations matter that has been used by ourselves and other egos over and over again, and are affected by the various tendencies impressed in it.
And, similarly, we are leaving behind us for future races that which will help or embarrass them in their future lives. This is a highly important matter, whether reincarnation be a true doctrine or not. For if each new nation is only a mass of new egos or souls, it must be much affected by the matter-environment left behind by nations and races that have disappeared forever. But for us who believe in reincarnation it has additional force, showing us one strong reason why universal brotherhood should be believed in and practised.
The other branch of the responsibility is just as serious. The doctrine that removes death from the universe and declares that all is composed of innumerable lives, constantly changing places with each other, contains in it of necessity the theory that man himself is full of these lives and that all are traveling up the long road of evolution.
The secret doctrine holds that we are full of kingdoms of entities who depend upon us, so to say, for salvation. How enormous, then, is this responsibility, that we not only are to be judged for what we do with ourselves as a whole, but also for what we do for those unseen beings who are dependent upon us for light. Path, October, IT is commonly charged against the exponents of Theosophy that they deal in vague generalities only. A lecture is given or paper read by a Theosophist, and the profane hearer laughs, saying, "All this is metaphysical absurdity; these are mere abstractions; let us have something like that which science gives us, something we can grasp.
Why is this so? An inquiry into the question discloses the fact that some, if not all, the basic postulates of science are the purest abstractions, and that many statements from which deductions of fact are drawn are themselves the merest hypotheses. We will also find that the commonest of people unconsciously use in every work-a-day acts the most abstract and indefinite premises without which they could do but little. Take navigation of the ocean, by which we are able to send the largest ships carrying the richest of cargoes from shore to shore of any sea.
These are guided in their course by men who know little or nothing of Theosophy and who would laugh at metaphysics. But in order to safely carry the ship from departure to destination, they have to use the lines of longitude and latitude, which, while seeming very real to them, have no existence whatever, except in theory. These lines must be used, and, if not, the ship will strike a rock or run upon the shore. Where are the parallels of longitude and latitude? They are imagined to be on the earth, but their only visible existence p.
The sea captain may think they are on the chart, or he may not think of it at all. Where do they stop? Nowhere; they are said to extend indefinitely into space; yet these abstractions are used for present human commercial needs. Is this any less vague than Theosophy? In the latter we have to guide the great human ship from shore to shore, and in that immense journey are obliged to refer to abstractions from which to start. Our spiritual parallels of latitude and longitude are abstractions, indeed, but no more so than those laid down upon the seamans chart. The scientific materialist says: "What nonsense to speak of coming out of the Absolute!
It is a pure hypothesis, undemonstrated and undemonstrable. It can neither be weighed, nor measured, nor found with a microscope: indeed, in the opinion of many Theosophists it is a far greater mystery than the soul, because some say they have seen that which may be soul; which looks like it; and no man has been, at any time, so fortunate or unfortunate as to have seen an atom. Further, the scientific materialist says, "What do you know about the powers of the soul, which you say is the central sun of the human system?
As to the heat of the sun, not all are agreed that it has any heat whatever, for some learned men think that it is a source of an energy which creates heat when it reaches the earths atmosphere only. Thus as to the central sun of this system, there is the greatest vagueness in science and no agreement as to what may be the truth in this important matter. In Theosophy, however, on the other hand, although there is some vagueness with mere students as to the exact quantity of heat or light thrown out by the soul, those who have devoted more time to its study are able to give closer estimates than any which have been given by scientific men in respect to the sun of the solar system.
Yet all these generalities of science are the very things that have led to the present wonderful material development of the nineteenth century. But let us glance for a moment at the subject of evolution, which engages the thought of materialist and theosophist alike; let us see if theosophy is more vague than its opponents, or more insane, we might say, in ability to lay wild theories before intelligent men. The well-known Haeckel in his Pedigree of Man says, in speaking of Darwins teachings and lauding them: "Darwin puts in the place of a conscious creative force, building and arranging the organic bodies of animals and plants on a designed plan, a series of natural forces working blindly, or we say, without aim, without design.
In place of an arbitrary act we have a necessary law of evolution. A mechanical origin of the earliest living form was held as the necessary sequence of Darwins teaching. There is not a single proof in present life whether mineral, vegetable, or animal, that such a result from such a beginning could by any possibility eventuate. But these scientific men in those matters are safe in making hypotheses, because the time is far in the dark of history when these blind, undesigning acts were begun.
Yet they ought to show some present instances p. Now is this not a wild, fanciful, and almost insane statement of Haeckel's? Is it not ten times more absurd than theosophical teachings? We begin truly with Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti and Hosts of Dhyan Chohans, but we allege design in everything, and our Parabrahmam is no more vague than motion or force, pets of science. So I have found that a slight examination of this question reveals science as more vague than Theosophy is in anything. But some may say results are not indefinite. The same is said by us, the results to be reached by following the doctrines of theosophy, relating, as they do, to our real life, will be as definite, as visible, as important as any that science can point to.
T HE impassable gulf between mind and matter discovered by modern science is a logical result of the present methods of so-called scientific investigation. These methods are analytical and hypothetical, and the results arrived at are necessarily tentative and incomplete. Even the so-called "Synthetic Philosophy" of Spencer is, at best, an effort to grasp the entire method and modulus of nature within one of its processes only. The aim is at synthesis, but it can hardly deserve the name of philosophy, for it is purely speculative and hypothetical.
It is as though the physiologist undertook to study the function of respiration in man through the single process of expiration, ignoring the fact that every expiratory act must be supplemented by inspiration or respiration cease altogether. Taking, therefore, the facts of experience derived from the phenomena of nature and viewing both cosmic and organic processes purely from their objective side, the "missing links," ''impassable gulfs, and "unthinkable gaps occur constantly.
Not so in Occult Science. So far as the science of occultism is concerned, it is both experimental and analytical, but it acknowledges no "missing links," "impassable gulfs," or "unthinkable gaps," because it finds none. Back of occult science there lies a complete and all-embracing Philosophy. This philosophy is not simply synthetical in its methods, for the simplest as the wildest hypothesis can claim that much; but it is synthesis itself.
It regards Nature as one complete whole, and so the student of occultism may stand at either point of observation. He may from the stand-point of Nature's wholeness p.
Reincarnation Up Close and Personal (Articles On the Occult Book 1) - Kindle edition by Stacie Spielman. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device. The Occult/ However while the text is part of the original article, the links are not . Today's religious syncretism not only accepts reincarnation as one of its basic analyze the basic texts in the Bible which are claimed to imply reincarnation, .. an eternal personal relation with Him in heaven, or an eternal separation from .
The modern scientist may do this incidentally or empirically, but the occultist does it systematically and habitually, and hence philosophically. The modern scientist is confessedly and boastfully agnostic. The occultist is reverently and progressively gnostic. Modern science recognizes matter as "living" and "dead," "organic" and "inorganic," and "Life" as merely a phenomenon of matter.
Occult science recognizes, "foremost of all, the postulate that there is no such thing in Nature as inorganic substances or bodies. Stones, minerals, rocks, and even chemical 'atoms' are simply organic units in profound lethargy. Their coma has an end, and their inertia becomes activity. Modern science recognizes life as a special phenomenon of matter, a mere transient manifestation due to temporary conditions.
Even logic and analogy ought to have taught us better, for the simple reason that so-called "inorganic" or "dead" matter constantly becomes organic and living, while matter from the organic plane is continually being reduced to the inorganic. How rational and justifiable, then, to suppose that the capacity or "potency" of life is latent in all matter! The "elements," "atoms," and "molecules" of modern science, partly physical and partly metaphysical, though altogether hypothetical, are, nevertheless, seldom philosophical, for the simple reason that they are regarded solely as phenomenal.
The Law of Avogadro involved a generalization as to physical structure and number, and the later experiments of Prof. Neumann deduced the same law mathematically from the first principles of the mechanical theory of gases, but it remained for Prof. Crookes to perceive the philosophical necessity of a primordial substratum, protyle, and so, as pointed p.
And yet this complete synthesis has been in the possession of the true occultist for ages. Glimpses of this philosophy have been sufficient to give to minds like Kepler, Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant, Schopenhauer, and, lastly, to Prof. Crookes, ideas that claimed and held the interested attention of the scientific world. While, at certain points, such writers supplement and corroborate each other, neither anywhere nor altogether do they reveal the complete synthesis, for none of them possessed it, and yet it has all along existed.
It may be humiliating to "Modern Exact Science" and repugnant to the whole of Christendom to have to admit that the Pagans whom they have despised, and the "Heathen Scriptures" they long ridiculed or ignored, nevertheless possess a fund of wisdom never dreamed of under Western skies. They have the lesson, however, to learn, that Science by no means originated in, nor is it confined to, the West, nor are superstition and ignorance confined to the East. It can easily be shown that every real discovery and every important advancement in modern science have already been anticipated centuries ago by ancient science and philosophy.
It is true that these ancient doctrines have been embodied in p. Far beyond all this inaccessibility, however, as a cause preventing these old truths from reaching modern times, has been the prejudice, the scorn and contempt of ancient learning manifested by the leaders of modern thought. Nor is the lesson yet learned that bigotry and scorn are never the mark of wisdom or the harbingers of learning; for still, with comparatively few exceptions, any claim or discussion of these ancient doctrines is met with contempt and scorn.
The record has, however, been at least outlined and presented to the world. As the authors of the Secret Doctrine have remarked, these doctrines may not be largely accepted by the present generation, but during the twentieth century they will become known and appreciated. The scope and bearing of philosophy itself are hardly yet appreciated by modern thought, because of its materialistic tendency. A complete science of metaphysics and a complete philosophy of science are not yet even conceived of as possible; hence the ancient wisdom by its very vastness has escaped recognition in modern times.
That the authors of ancient wisdom have spoken from at least two whole planes of conscious experience beyond that of our every-day "sense-perception" is to us inconceivable, and yet such is the fact; and why should the modern advocate of evolution be shocked and staggered by such a disclosure?
It but justifies his hypothesis and extends its theatre. Is it because the present custodians of this ancient learning do not scramble for recognition on the stock exchange, and enter into competition in the marts of the world? If the practical outcome of such competition needed illustration, Mr. Keely might serve as an example. The discoveries of the age are already whole centuries in advance of its ethical culture, and the knowledge that should place still further power in the hands of a few individuals whose ethical code is below, rather than above, that of the ignorant, toiling, suffering masses, could only minister to anarchy and increase oppression.
On these higher planes of consciousness the law of prog- p. The custodians of the higher knowledge are equally by both motive and development almoners of the divine. These are the very conditions of the higher consciousness referred to. The synthesis of occult science becomes, therefore, the higher synthesis of the faculties of man.
What matter, therefore, if the ignorant shall scout its very existence, or treat it with ridicule and contempt? Those who know of its existence and who have learned something of its scope and nature can, in their turn, afford to smile, but with pity and sorrow at the willing bondage to ignorance and misery that scorns enlightenment and closes its eyes to the plainest truths of experience.
Leaving, for the present, the field of physics and cosmogenesis, it may be profitable to consider some of the applications of these doctrines to the functions and life of man. The intellect derived from philosophy is similar to a charioteer; for it is present with our desires, and always conducts them to the beautiful. If, as we say, all in nature is an aspect of the one element, and life is universal, how can there be such a thing as an inorganic atom! Only the perfected animal can cross the threshold of the next higher, or the human plane, and as he does so there shines upon him the ray from the suprahuman plane.
Therefore, as the dawn of humanity illumines the animal plane, and as a guiding star lures the Monad to higher consciousness, so the dawn of divinity illumines the 1 Quotations are from the Secret Doctrine and other writings of H. This is neither more nor less than the philosophical and metaphysical aspect of the law of evolution. Man has not one principle more than the tiniest insect; he is, however, "the vehicle of a fully developed Monad, self-conscious and deliberately following its own line of progress, whereas in the insect, and even the higher animal, the higher triad of principles is absolutely dormant.
It is plainly, therefore, a misnomer to call that process of thought a "Synthetic Philosophy" that deals only with phenomena and ends with matter on the physical plane. These two generalizations of Occult philosophy, endowing every atom with the potentiality of life, and regarding every insect or animal as already possessing the potentialities of the higher planes though these powers are yet dormant, add to the ordinary Spencerian theory of evolution precisely that element that it lacks, viz, the metaphysical and philosophical; and, thus endowed, the theory becomes synthetical.
The Monad, then, is essentially and potentially the same in the lowest vegetable organism, up through all forms and gradations of animal life to man, and beyond. There is a gradual unfolding of its potentialities from "Monera" to man, and there are two whole planes of consciousness, the sixth and the seventh "senses," not yet unfolded to the average humanity. Every monad that is enclosed in a form, and hence limited by matter, becomes conscious on its own plane and in its own degree.
Consciousness, therefore, no less than sensitiveness, belongs to plants as well as to animals. Self-consciousness belongs to man, because, while embodied in a form, the higher triad of principles, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, is no longer dormant, but active. This activity is, however, far from being fully developed. When this activity has become fully developed, man will already have become conscious on a still higher plane, endowed with the sixth and the opening of the seventh sense, and will have become a "god" in the sense given to that term by Plato and his followers.
The "atoms" and "monads" of the Secret Doctrine are very different from the atoms and molecules of modern science. To the latter these are mere particles of matter endowed with blind force: to the former, they are the "dark nucleoles," and potentially "Gods," conscious and intelligent from their primeval embodiment at the beginning of differentiation in the dawn of the Manvantara.
There are no longer any hard and fast lines between the "organic" and the "inorganic"; between the "living" and "dead" matter. Every atom is endowed with and moved by intelligence, and is conscious in its own degree, on its own plane of development. This is a glimpse of the One Life that It may be conceived that the "Ego" in man is a monad that has gathered to itself innumerable experiences through aeons of time, slowly unfolding its latent potencies through plane after plane of matter.
It is hence called the "eternal pilgrim. The Manasic, or mind principle, is cosmic and universal. It is the creator of all forms, and the basis of all law in nature. Not so with consciousness. Consciousness is a condition of the monad as the result of embodiment in matter and the dwelling in a physical form. Self-consciousness, which from the animal plane looking upward is the beginning of perfection, from the divine plane looking downward is the perfection of selfishness and the curse of separateness.
It is the "world of illusion" that man has created for himself. The nutritive, all the formative and functional processes consist of flux and re-flux, of inspiration and expiration, to and from the nucleus. The nucleus is therefore in its own degree and after its kind a "monad" imprisoned in a "form. Health of the body as a whole depends on the integrity of all its parts, and more especially upon their harmonious association and cooperation.
A diseased tissue is one in which a group of individual cells refuse to cooperate, and wherein is set up discordant action, using less or claiming more than their due share of food or energy. Disease of the very tissue of mans body is neither more nor less than the "sin of separateness. Smaller groups are subordinate to larger congeries, and these again are subordinate to larger, or to the whole. Every microscopic cell therefore typifies and epitomizes man, as man is an epitome of the Universe. As already remarked, the "Eternal Pilgrim," the Alter-Ego in man, is a monad progressing through the ages.
By right and by endowment the ego is king in the domain of mans bodily life. It descended into matter in the cosmic process till it reached the mineral plane, and then journeyed upward through the "three kingdoms" till it reached the human plane. The elements of its being, like the cells and molecules of mans body, are groupings of structures accessory or subordinate to it. The human monad or Ego is therefore akin to all below it and heir to all above it, linked by indissoluble bonds p.
The tissue cells constitute mans bodily structure, but the order in which they are arranged, the principle upon which they are grouped, constituting the human form, is not simply an evolved shape from the lower animal plane, but an involved principle from a higher plane, an older world, viz, the "Lunar Pitris. So also the Manasic, or mind element, with its cosmic and infinite potentialities, is not merely the developed "instinct" of the animal.
Mind is the latent or active potentiality of Cosmic Ideation, the essence of every form, the basis of every law, the potency of every principle in the universe. Human thought is the reflection or reproduction in the realm of mans consciousness of these forms, laws, and principles. Hence man senses and apprehends nature just as nature unfolds in him. When, therefore, the Monad has passed through the form of the animal ego, involved and unfolded the human form, the higher triad of principles awakens from the sleep of ages and over-shadowed by the "Manasa-putra" and built into its essence and substance.
How could man epitomize Cosmos if he did not touch it at every point and involve it in every principle? If mans being is woven in the web of destiny, his potencies and possibilities take hold of divinity as the woof and pattern of his boundless life. Why, then, should he grow weary or disheartened? The peculiarity also of this theology, and in which its transcendency consists, is this, that it does not consider the highest God to be the principle of beings, but the principle of principles, i.
Introduction to Mystical Hymns of Orpheus. It has often been thought a strange thing that there are no dogmas and no creed in Theosophy or Occultism. Is theosophy a religion? No, it is religion. Is it a philosophy? No, it is philosophy. Is it a science? No, it is science. If a consensus of religion, philosophy, and science is possible, and if it has ever been reached in human thought, that thought must long since have passed the boundaries of all creeds and ceased to dogmatize. Hence comes the difficulty in answering questions.
No proposition stands apart or can be taken separately without limiting and often distorting its meaning. Every proposition has to be considered and held as subservient to the synthetic whole. Really intelligent people, capable of correct reasoning, often lack sufficient interest to endeavor to apprehend the universality of these principles.
They expect, where they have any interest at all in the subject, to be told "all about it" in an hours conversation, or to learn it from a column in some newspaper; all about man, all about Nature, all about Deity; and then either to reject it or to make it a part of their previous creed. These are really no wiser than the penny-a-liner who catches some point and turns it into ridicule, or makes it a butt for coarse jest or silly sarcasm, and then complacently imagines that he has demolished the whole structure!
If such persons were for one moment placed face to face with their own folly, they would be amazed. The most profound thinker and the most correct reasoner might well afford to devote a life-time to the apprehension of the philosophy of occultism, and other life-times to mastering the scientific details, while at the same time his ethics and his religious life are made consistent with the principle of altruism and the Brotherhood of man.
If this be regarded as too hard a task, it is, nevertheless, the line of the higher evolution of man, and, soon or late, every soul must follow it, retrograde, or cease to be. Man is but a link in an endless chain of being; a sequence of a past eternity of causes and processes; a potentiality born into time, but spanning two eternities, his past and his future, and p.
In a former article man was shown to be a series of almost innumerable "Lives," and these lives, these living entities called "cells," were shown to be associated together on the principle of hierarchies, grouped according to rank and order, service and development, and this was shown to be the "physical synthesis" of man, and the organic synthesis as well. Disease was also shown to be the organic nutritive, or physiological "sin of separateness.
In health every action is synchronous and rhythmical, however varied and expanded, however intense and comprehensive. Enough is already known in modern physics to justify all these statements, at least by analogy. The principle of electrical induction and vibration, the quantitative and qualitative transmission of vibration and its exact registration, and their application to telegraphy, the telephone, and the phonograph, have upset all previous theories of physics and physiology.
Yea or nay? Bouillard--and he was no common man--said No; to accept such a fact were to upset all our notions of physiology. So said Mr. Bouillard, right in the face of Edison 's phonograph in full Academy, and he throttled the luckless interpreter of the famous American inventor, accusing it of ventriloquism.
Occultism teaches that the Ego both precedes and survives the physical body. The phenomena of mans life and the process of his thought can be apprehended and explained on no other theory. Modern physiology teaches in detail certain facts regarding the life of man. It, moreover, groups these facts and deduces certain so-called principles and laws, but such a thing as a synthesis of the whole man is seldom even attempted. Oehorowicz, "Mental Suggestion," p. Both answers will be based on what is known, or supposed to be known, of memory.
The idea that the real man, the Ego, is always conscious on some plane, and that it "thinks," as we ordinarily use the term, only on the lower plane through the physical brain, in terms of extension and duration, or space and time, is seldom in the least apprehended by the modern physiologist.
If, however, one grasps the idea of the ego as the real man dwelling in the physical body and using it as its instrument through which it is related to space and time, perception, sensation, thought, and feeling, the gaps in physiology and psychology begin to disappear. Here again it should be particularly borne in mind that this doctrine of the ego must be considered in the light of the complete synthesis of occultism, and just to the extent that this is intelligently done will the significance of the ego appear.
The brief and concise outline of the philosophy of occultism given in the Introduction to the Secret Doctrine is therefore very significant, and the student who desires to apprehend that which follows in these two large volumes ought to study this outline very carefully. No subsequent proposition, no principle in the life of man, can be correctly understood apart from it. The subject-matter following is necessarily fragmentary, but the outline is both inclusive and philosophical, and if one reasons logically and follows the plainest analogies he can never go far astray.
The relation of mind to brain, of thought to consciousness, of life to matter, and of man to Nature and to Deity, is there clearly defined; not, indeed, in all its details, but in a philosophical modulus, to be worked out in reason and in life. The all-pervading Life, the cyclic or periodical movements, the periods of action and of repose, and the intimate relations and inter-dependences of all things apply to Cosmos, and equally to every atom in its vast embrace.